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Gum Disease Bacteria Selectively Disarm Immune System, Penn Study Finds

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The human body is comprised of roughly 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. In healthy people, these bacteria are typically harmless and often helpful, keeping disease-causing microbes at bay. But, when disturbances knock these bacterial populations out of balance, illnesses can arise. Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is one example.

In a new study, University of Pennsylvania researchers show that bacteria responsible for many cases of periodontitis cause this imbalance, known as dysbiosis, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human immune system.

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