New research shows that makeup of the bacteria found below the gumline in people's mouths is as powerful as a fingerprint in identifying ethnicity. A Ohio State University study of 400 different species of bacteria, in the mouths of patients of different ethnic affiliations (non-Hispanic blacks, whites, Chinese and Latinos) found that only 2% of the species were found in all populations. Thus, the different combination of species, in different concentrations, represented a "signature" of bacteria for each ethnic group.
While it is well understood that that food and oral hygiene habits determine what bacteria survive in patient's mouths, and is affected by brushing and flossing, it turns out that genetics plays a similar role. The most important part of the findings is that ethnicity-specific oral bacteria combinations in a person's saliva may predispose them to future disease.
Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309