Oral Health + Overall Health

Polymicrobial synergy

Oral diseases (as well as most other inflammatory diseases of the mucosae) are known to be triggered by the immunopathology resulting from the overabundance of particular combinations of species in the flora. There are now numerous microbiome studies of different inflammatory diseases, and it is becoming clear which species are associated with each of these diseases. However, extremely little is known about the mechanisms of polymicrobial synergy in oral and other diseases.

What research questions need to be answered to achieve this goal?

This topic is currently easier to explore in oral diseases than others, especially those related to the gut. The primary diseases treated by dentists, periodontal disease and dental caries, are attributable to polymicrobial pathogenesis. Understanding synergistic interactions between disease-causing microbes could lead to novel prevention and treatment strategies. Given the considerable scientific interest in the microbiome, this will be an active area for years to come. NIDCR has an opportunity to be the leader in this field.

Comment No. 183