http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/science/study-oral-microbiome-equals-good-dental-health/article/569637

Study: Oral microbiome equals good dental health

Posted Apr 3, 2020 by Tim Sandle
Regular dental visits, plus a regimented brushing regime coupled with flossing are recommended by dentists. A new study, looking at the microbiome of the mouth, provides support for such regimes for overall health.
X-ray of teeth  at the Wellcome Collection in London.
X-ray of teeth, at the Wellcome Collection in London.
The new study, from Colorado State University, has examined the composition of the microbes that live in the mouth. The data indicates a correlation between those who do not visit the dentist regularly and higher level of a pathogenic bacterium that is associated with periodontal disease.
Central to the research is the oral microbiome (which refers to the totality of microbes within a given niche, in this case the mouth). Data was drawn from a citizen science-project, where visitors to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science were asked to provide a cheek swab and were then asked a series of questions about dental visits and teeth brushing and flossing.
In total, swab samples were taken from 366 people, made up of 181 adults and 185 young people, aged between 8 and 17 years.
The experimental results showed that the types of microorganisms recovered from the mouth were related to dental hygiene practices, and how oral health impacted on overall health. Most significant in terms of practices, was flossing. Here the data showed people who undertook regular teeth flossing had a lower microbial diversity in their mouths compared with those who did not floss often or at all.
The reason for the lower diversity was due to the activity of physical removal, especially of the types of bacteria that are linked with inflammation or disease. This included species of Treponema.
According to one of the researchers, Dr. Zach Burcham: “Our study also showed that crowdsourcing and using community scientists can be a really good way to get this type of data, without having to use large, case-controlled studies.”
It was also of interest that there were other characteristics that correlated with variations with the oral microbiome, such as age and whether or not a person was overweight or classed as being obese.
It was also found that people who live together shared very similar ranges of oral bacteria, something that supports studies of microbiomes relating to other parts of the human body.
The research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports, where the study is headed: “Patterns of Oral Microbiota Diversity in Adults and Children: A Crowdsourced Population Study.”