Role of dental plaque in the transmission of Helicobacter pylori infection

J Clin Gastroenterol. 1996 Apr;22(3):174-7. doi: 10.1097/00004836-199604000-00004.


With regard to the role of dental plaque in the transmission of Helicobacter pylori infection, data from the literature vary greatly, owing to differences in sample collection and H. pylori-detecting techniques. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we have determined the incidence of H. pylori colonization in the dental plaque of 31 consecutive patients who underwent gastroscopy. The patients were divided into two groups on the basis of H. pylori infection, determined by Giemsa stain and the rapid urease test: group A made up of 21 H. pylori-positive patients and group B with 10 H. pylori-negative patients. Our PCR assay of dental plaque samples proved negative in all group A subjects but was positive in only one patient in group B. In our study, we found that H. pylori had a low prevalence (3.2%) in the oral cavity, with no significant relationship between gastric mucosa and dental plaque colonization. More comprehensive studies are needed to determine whether dental plaque is an important reservoir in the epidemiology of H. pylori-induced gastric disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Dyspepsia / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / transmission*
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction