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Microbial dark matter: fighting and unknown oral enemy

March 9, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 6:00 am

At Tindal Prosthodontics, we know that much of periodontal health can be implemented with preventive care. However, microbial “dark matter” in the mouth and gut makes controlling bacteria more difficult for some patients than others, often resulting in tooth loss and the potential need for dental implants.

Scientists estimate that half of bacteria living in human bodies is difficult to replicate for scientific research, hence the term “microbial dark matter,” as the matter is not well-understand save for its simple existence. One bacteria group that has posed a particular challenge for researchers is the Candidate Phylum TM7, which has been thought to cause inflammatory mucosal diseases because it is so prevalent in people with periodontitis, an infection of the gums that leads to loss of natural teeth.

A landmark discovery by scientists at the UCLA School of Dentistry, the J. Craig Venter Institute, and the University of Washington School of Dentistry has revealed insights into TM7’s resistance to scientific study and to its role in the progression of periodontitis and other diseases. Their findings shed new light on the biological, ecological and medical importance of TM7, and could lead to better understanding of other elusive bacteria.

If you’ve suffered tooth loss as a result of periodontal disease, rest assured that the microbial “dark batter” you’ve been combating isn’t always within your control! Instead contact the team at Tindal Prosthodontics for your Tampa dental implants and enjoy a healthy smile for life!


University of California – Los Angeles. (2014, December 23). How ‘microbial dark matter’ might cause disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 16, 2015 from