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37 Cards in this Set

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the smallest and simplest organisms that can be seen through a microscope


species of bacteria that are not harmful


species of bacteria that are capable of causing disease


species of bacteria that are capable of causing disease, another term for pathogenic

Cell membrane

a tough protective layer that encloses nearly all bacteria

gram staining

a laboratory method that reveals differences in the chemical and physical propertiesof bacterial cell membranes

gram-positive bacteria

stain purple, have a single thick cell membrane, associated with healthy perio

gram-negative bacteria

stain red, have double cell membranes, believed to play an important role in the tissue destruction seen in periodontitis

aerobic bacteria

bacteria that require oxygen to live.

anerobic bacteria

bacteria that cannot live in the presence of oxygen

facultative anaerobic bacteria

bacteria that can exist either with or without oxygen


a well organized community of bacteria that adheres to a surface and is embedded in an extracellular slime layer; forms rapidly on almost any surface that is wet.

extracellular slime layer

a protective barrier that surrounds the mushroom-shaped bacterial microcolonies of a biofilm; protects the bacterial microcolonies from antibiotics, antimicrobials, and immune response


bacteria not capable of movement. most bacteria in a healthy site fall into this category

A. actinomycetemcomitans

microorganism strongly associated with aggressive periodontitis. capable of evading host immune response and of destroying gingival connective tissue and bone

T. forsythia

microorganism associated with periodontitis. Most significant microbial risk factor that distinguishes subjects with periodontitis from healthy. most common species on or in epithelial cells from perio pockets.

P. gingivalis

microorganism found in low numbers in health/gingivitis and in higher numbers in periodontitis. Detected in aggressive forms of periodontitis. Inhibits migration of leukocytes across epithelial barrier. induces elevated host immune response

Mixed infection

periodontal disease is not caused by one organism but a "bacterial soup"


transfer of perio pathogens from the oral cavity of one person to another


refers to a disease that may be passed from one person to another by direct or indirect contact via substances such as inanimate objects

acquired pellicle

a film that forms over the tooth, composed of a variety of salivary glycoproteins (mucins) and antibodies


hairlike structures found on some bacteria. enable rapid attachment upon contact with the tooth surface

bacterial blooms

periods when specific species or groups of species grow at rapidly accelerated rates

mushroom-shaped microcolonies

Phase 5- mature biofilm- bacteria cluster together, they are attached to the tooth surface at a narrow base

extracellular slime layer

a dense protective barrier that surrounds the bacterial microcolonies

fluid forces

- of the saliva surrounding the biofilm, influence the shape of the plaque biofilm as well as the spatial arrangement of the bacteria inside

fluid channels

penetrate the extracellular slime layer- direct fluids in and around the biofilm- bringing nutrients and oxygen- carrying away waste products


the cell-to-cell adherence of one oral bacterium to another

Tooth- associated plaque biofilm

bacteria that are attached to the tooth surface

Tissue-associated plaque biofilm

bacteria that adhere to the epithelium

Unattached bacteria

free floating bacteria that are not part of the biofilm

virulence factors

the mechanisms that enable biofilm bacteria to colonize and invade the tissues of the periodontium


short chains of amino acids found in living bacterial cell membranes that control the transport of molecules in and out of the bacterial cell


harmful proteins released from the bacterial cell that act on host cells at a distance


an exotoxin that may enable bacteria to destroy leukocytes in the sulcus or pocket

bacterial enzymes

agents that are harmful or destructive to host cells

dormant bacteria

bacteria in an inactive state in order to survive adverse environmental conditions