Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, the focus of this review, was initially proposed as a microbe directly related to a phenotypically distinct form of periodontitis called localized juvenile periodontitis. At the time, it seemed as if specific microbes were implicated as the cause of distinct forms of disease. Over the years, much has changed. The sense that specific microbes relate to distinct forms of disease has been challenged, as has the sense that distinct forms of periodontitis exist. This review consists of two components. The first part is presented as a detective story where we attempt to determine what role, if any, Aggregatibacter plays as a participant in disease. The second part describes landscape ecology in the context of how the host environment shapes the framework of local microbial dysbiosis. We then conjecture as to how the local host response may limit the damage caused by pathobionts. We propose that the host may overcome the constant barrage of a dysbiotic microbiota by confining it to a local tooth site. We conclude speculating that the host response can confine local damage by restricting bacteremic translocation of members of the oral microbiota to distant organs thus constraining morbidity and mortality of the host.