A new study has shown that your oral bacteria population may be closely related to your ethnicity. Researchers say that this may help us better understand why some ethnic groups have a higher risk of gum disease or cavities, and give us a better approach to preventative dentistry based on your ethnicity.

“Deep Sequencing” of Diverse Population

Researchers at Ohio State University looked at the species distribution of oral bacteria in 100 volunteers from four ethnic groups: African-American, Caucasian,  Chinese, and Latino. They found nearly 400 different species of bacteria, and they found that the population of bacteria varied greatly between people of different ethnicities.

Their study showed that only 2% of bacterial species were found in all participants, and even these were found in different concentrations. About 8% of bacteria were found in 90% of participants.

Based on their findings, researchers attempted to automate the ethnicity identification process to show the sensitivity and specificity of their findings. They showed that a computer could identify a bacterial sample as coming from an African-American individual 100% of the time, but identified other groups less accurately, with an overall identification rate of 62%. This was when bacteria samples were taken from gum pockets. When bacteria samples were taken from elsewhere in the mouth, identification rates decreased.

Better Prevention Based on Your Bacteria

The next step for the researchers is to determine what role the ethnic-specific bacterial colonies play in oral disease so that they can potentially make preventative dentistry recommendations.

At B&D Dental Excellence, we employ the most advanced, scientifically-based treatments for gum disease, cavities, and other oral health problems.

To protect your dental health, please contact B&D Dental Excellence in Rockland County, New York for an appointment.