We are a research team with the objective to understand the role bacteria play in shaping oral health.
Our team has two objectives:
The first objective:
We hope to make a "Google Map of the Mouth", mapping the bacterial populations that live in the mouths of a healthy human adults. We are interested in knowing how much variation exists in microbial communities from tooth to tooth.
In addition, we hope to characterize the variability of human dental plaque over time. in a healthy adult. We would like to understand how sensitive microbial communities are to daily disturbances in the mouth, such as tooth-brushing and fluctuations in salivary flow.
Our second objective:
We wish to study the effects of chronic low salivary flow (i.e., hyposalivation) on the mouth. Chronic hyposalivation occurs when an individual experiences a reduced rate of salivary flow.
Hyposalivation can cause tooth loss that would have otherwise been preventable. Our ability to manage dental cavities and oral infections in those with chronic hyposalivation is limited.
Our goal is to study the differences between the microbial communities in the mouths of volunteers with low salivary flow compared to otherwise healthy control individuals.
By understanding these differences, we hope to eventually devise novel, ecologically-oriented therapeutics or prognostics to treat and/or prevent dental disease.