At any given moments there are a lot of things going on in your mouth. The enamel on your teeth is constantly demineralizing and remineralizing. Your saliva is working to neutralize the acids and bacteria your mouth comes in contact with. And there’s all sorts of stuff living in there! That’s right. Making a home in your mouth! Until recently researchers have had a very hard time studying the living organisms that reside in human mouths. This is because 60% of the living bacteria present in the human mouth refuse to grow in a lab. There’s something about the warm, moist environment inside your mouth that makes a Petri dish seem a little unwelcoming! Since scientists have had such a hard time studying these bacterium many have yet to be classified, named or observed. However, according to recent research published in the journal PLOS ONE scientists have recently managed to sequence together the DNA from 12 different cells identifying the genome of a common bacterium known to live in healthy human mouths.
More About The Research
This newly identified bacterium has been named Tannerella BU063. Before it was sequenced it was included on a most wanted list compiled by the Human Microbiome Project. Microbes like Tannerella play an important part in understanding and improving oral health. Although the bacterium was taken from one single healthy person, eight different strains were represented in the 12 cells. This shows that there’s a great variety of microbes living in the human mouth. This bacteria appears to be closely related to Tannerella forsythia, which has a very strong link to gum disease. However there are several important genes present in Tannerella forsythia that make it cause gum disease that are absent in Tannerella BU063. These sorts of observable differences are coming to mean more and more to dental research and oral hygiene as a science. If scientists are able to identify exactly what causes conditions like gum disease than it will become all the more easy to treat.
Researchers have only been encouraged by the information they have found thus far. As more and more studies like these are undertaken scientists will develop a better understanding of what exactly lives in our mouths.
Gum disease occurs when the gums become loose and pull away from the teeth allowing bacteria to fill gum pockets. This bacteria causes the gums to become red, swollen and irritated. If left untreated gum disease can cause tooth and bone loss. Some pretty terrible things can happen when just a little bacteria gets out of hand! Gum disease can be prevented with regular dental cleanings and a dedicated oral health routine. That means brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing thoroughly once everyday. Stay on top of your oral hygiene for the good of your oral health! If you believe you could be exhibiting some of the symptoms associated with gum disease you should be sure to see a dentist. Call Dr. D’Alfonso of Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today!