New Species of Bacteria Discovered in Human Mouth

Ever wonder what could be roaming around inside your mouth? Scientists have found a new species of bacteria in the human mouth.

This could potentially help scientists better understand tooth decay and gum disease, which can also lead to better treatments.

"The healthy human mouth is home to a tremendous variety of microbes including viruses, fungi, protozoa and bacteria," said Professor William Wade from King's College London Dental Institute. "The bacteria are the most numerous: there are 100 million in every millilitre of saliva and more than 600 different species in the mouth. Around half of these have yet to be named and we are trying to describe and name the new species."

Healthy tissue and mouth tumors were studied and scientists found three strains of bacteria called Prevotella that weren't able to be identified. The new species of bacteria was named Prevotella histicola, where histicola means 'inhabitant of tissue'.

“Interestingly, this species was isolated from within the oral tissues, both in oral cancers and normal, healthy tissue,” said Professor Wade. “This confirms other work showing that oral bacteria can invade both tissues and individual cells.”

Since tooth decay and gum disease are the most common bacterial diseases, scientists are excited to continue this work as it means coming up with new preventions and treatments for oral diseases as they learn more about each type of bacteria.


Source: SGM press release