April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Good dental health may help prevent AIDS, say Japanese researchers.
The link, they say, could be periodontal, or gum, disease.
The researchers found that periodontitis-causing P. gingivalis bacteria can trigger a pathway that causes reactivation of latent HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS. P. gingivalis is among the most widely existent bacteria worldwide.
The findings were to be presented April 3 in Miami at a meeting of the International & American Association for Dental Research.
The results suggest that periodontal disease might contribute to the systemic dissemination of HIV and emphasize the essential role of maintaining oral hygiene and controlling oral diseases to help prevent AIDS, according to background information in a news release from the association.
SOURCE: International & American Association for Dental Research, news release, April 3, 2009