The oral cavity is inhabited by more than 700 species of commensal bacteria. Several have been identified as pathogens of oral diseases, dental caries, and periodontal diseases. However, the lack of information concerning the interaction between pathogens and the remaining commensal bacteria has made it difficult to understand the precise etiologies of oral diseases. We need to identify the comprehensive species found in individual oral flora and compare these results with corresponding oral health conditions. In this chapter, the authors delineate the previous attempts to identify oral commensal bacterial flora and discuss the potential capability of modern molecular genetic technologies such as terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, DNA microarray and pyrosequencing analyses utilizing bioinformatics.
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