Health Awarelets: Dental Plaque

Health Awarelets: Dental Plaque: Strangers In Our "Mist"

Researchers at Stanford University, using plaque samples scraped from healthy human mouths and using recent molecular analysis techniques, found evidence of 37 new and unique bacteria never before recorded. These microbes are in addition to the already known families of coccoids, spirochetes and other gram positive and negative organisms inhabiting the oral cavity. Identifying inhabitants of the healthy mouth may help shed light on the changes in bacterial population that can lead to gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth decay.

California Dental Journal. Vol. 28. No.2, February 2000.

Comment: The human mouth is a busy place. As the number of known organisms in the microflora increases, it makes one wonder about the ones we don't know about. Perhaps one day we'll be able to answer one of the questions most frequently asked to the dentist: "Doctor, why do I get cavities and gum disease when I take much better care of myself than my wife, who has no dental problems at all?"

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