The NIDCR expects the research will yield tens of thousands of genes, and will attempt to detect unique patterns of gene expression within the bacterial communities that are predictive of periodontal diseases. Investigators also will seek to determine if proteins encoded by the genes might be produced under varying conditions of health and disease, which would provide further insight into the possible role of the gene in the disease process.
All of the data generated from the study will be stored in a free, searchable online database.
The study's principal investigators are
Researchers have identified more than 400 bacteria in oral biofilm thus far, but they estimate this number may represent just over half of the microbes actually in the film.