Study Looks at Behavior and Role of Oral Bacteria

Our bodies contain 10,000 different species of bacteria. Hundreds of these bacteria are found in our mouths. Each bacteria perform different functions, but how the various species engage with each other influences our overall health. Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin recently investigated how bacteria change when individuals develop gum disease. Your Mansfield dentists Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris share the results of this novel study which may one day lead to biomarkers that foresee if someone will become sick.

UT Scientists Focus on Gum Disease

The UT researchers chose to focus on gum disease because it is one of the most common diseases on the globe, and advances in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease could impact millions. Further, oral bacteria is unique because our mouths contain the same type of bacteria when they are healthy as when they are sick. The researchers analyzed 60 different species of bacteria as well as 160,000 genes. The data revealed that bacteria perform differently when healthy versus diseased. For example, their metabolism alters if they are diseased. Bacteria that eat a particular substance when healthy may turn to a different food source when sick. These results demonstrate that perhaps scientists and doctors shouldn’t zero in on what species of bacteria a mouth contains because the communities are united in their actions despite who belongs to it. For example, a healthy community of bacteria possesses a certain metabolism despite what bacteria belong to it, and a diseased community has a different metabolism.

Findings Could Affect Gum Disease Treatment

The researchers hope that their study will eventually help to create biomarkers that can anticipate if a person is going to become sick. They theorize that experts may be able to assess the behavior of bacteria to determine if someone is moving towards illness. If examining bacteria can suggest that a patient is going to become sick, the health care workers could then recommend preventive actions to the patient.

About Your Mansfield Dentists

Mansfield Dental Associates rely upon their years of experience, training, and cutting-edge technology to offer patients expert dental care at each and every visit. They listen to each patient’s concerns and offer gentle, informative guidance about future treatments. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call (817) 473-6227. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris proudly treat patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian and neighboring areas.