By Eryn Brown
If you’ve ever brushed your teeth or swished some mouthwash, they’ve been in your sight: the hundreds of billions of microorganisms — mostly bacteria — that live in the average human mouth. Dangling from the hard palate, burrowed in the nooks and crannies of the tongue and intertwined in the plaque on teeth are the many hundreds of species that make up the human oral microbiome.
For most, the bacteria in your mouth seem largely an inconvenience — critters all mixed together in a smelly goo, that must be flossed, brushed or rinsed away to keep your breath pleasant and gums healthily pink. But for Jessica Mark Welch of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Gary Borisy and Floyd Dewhirst of the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the oral microbiome is a wonder. Far from a jumbled mess of cells, it’s a varied, ordered ecosystem that can reveal larger truths about the ways microbes interact with one another — and how their interactions impact the environments they inhabit. Read more…
Geneticist Jessica Mark Welch. Credit: James Provost
Source: Oral microbiome: Getting the microbe story, straight from the mouth｜Knowable Magazine