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British researchers have recently determined that normal bacteria that live in mouths can lead to gum disease. This is a surprising finding, and scientists believe that this could lead to the development of new products to combat periodontal disease by manipulating this form of bacteria.
"This oral bacterium only appears in small numbers but appears to have a major influence on the overall ecology. It has a keystone effect in a community - working in the same way that starfish, which have relatively small numbers, control the shell fish communities in the sea," said researcher Mike Curtis.
Now that scientists understand that the bacteria mouths produce naturally can lead to gum disease, they have a better idea of how to combat this and other dental health problems.
Although researchers are confident that they can use this information to create and effective tool against these conditions, they say that is something that will happen far into the future. For now, brushing regularly and visiting the dentist often are still the best ways to fight gum disease.
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