Helicobacter pylori Colonization in Dental Plaque and Gastric Infection

Mohtatam Nasrolahei1, Iraj Maleki2, Omid Emadian3

1) Microbiology and Immunology Department, Sari Medical School. 2) Department of Gastroenterology. 3) Department of Pathology, Emmam Khomeini Hospital, Sari, Iran


Background. With regard to the presence of Helicobacter pylori ( H.pylori ) in dental plaque and its association with gastric infection, data from the literature are controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of H.pylori in dental plaque of dyspeptic patients who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and to investigate its relationship to gastric infection.

Methods. In a cross sectional study, over one year ( February 2002-February 2003) samples were taken with separate sterile curretes from tooth surfaces of molars, premolars and incisors of 180 consecutive dyspeptic patients referred to the Endoscopy Department of Emmam Khomeini Hospital. Dental plaque samples were subjected to the rapid urease test, Giemsa staining , PCR test and culture for identification of H.pylori. During endoscopy, six biopsies were taken from the gastric antrum and corpus and histological examination, Giemsa stainings, Rapid Urease test and culture were performed. Patients were defined as infected when both rapid urease test and Giemsa stain, or when cultures were positive for H.pylori. Informations concerning oral hygiene protocol were recorded. For data analysis , the chi square test was used and P<0.05 was defined statistically significant.

Results. Our data proved the presence of H. pylori in dental plaque of infected and uninfected patients. There was no significant association between H. pylori colonization in dental plaque and gastric infection. In this study, oral hygiene (the frequency of dental visits and teeth cleaning) did not have a significant influence on the presence of H. pylori in dental plaque.

Conclusion. Dental plaque is the reservoir of H.pylori with no relationship to gastric infection.


Dental plaque - gastric infection - gastrointestinal endoscopy - Helicobacter pylori