How has genomics altered our view of caries microbiology?

Caries research

PubMedID: 18701821

Russell RR. How has genomics altered our view of caries microbiology?. Caries Res. 2008;42(5):319-27.
Genome sequencing and other molecular techniques for the identification and characterisation of bacteria have provided us with a vast amount of new information, both on the detailed properties of certain species and on the total plaque microflora. Thus, from genomics, we have gained many valuable insights into the biology of Streptococcus mutans and the diversity within the species, while molecular techniques of identification have prompted a heightened awareness of the importance of species other than S. mutans to the caries process. S. mutans remains deserving of detailed study, both as an exemplar of an acidogenic, aciduric plaque bacterium and because it shows a strong association with caries. Nevertheless, its value as a target for inhibitors and its usefulness as an indicator organism for monitoring the value of caries prediction or prevention need to be evaluated in the light of new discoveries.