Oral bacteria byproducts can awaken dormant HIV virus

The team at Smiles by Shields commonly treats periodontal disease and works with current patients to prevent the onset of periodontal diseases. Researchers at Case Western Reserve have recently uncovered new reasons to combat oral bacteria that cause oral disease: the bacteria byproducts may awaken dormant HIV viruses in cells.

The researchers found that byproducts of bacteria in gum disease, called metabolic small chain fatty acid (SCFA), can work together to wake up HIV in dormant T-cells and cause the virus to replicate. These findings help explain why people with HIV-infections and periodontal disease have higher levels of the virus in their saliva than HIV patients with healthy gums.

If you needed any further reason to stem the tide of oral bacteria, this new evidence for how bacteria byproducts impact HIV replication is just one indication of why it’s important to keep oral health at the forefront of your preventive and general health regiments. Oral bacteria impacts total body health in countless ways scientists are only now discovering!


Case Western Reserve University. (2015, January 7). “Discovery of byproducts from bacteria that awaken dormant T-cells and HIV viruses .” Medical News Today. Retrieved from


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