A crowdfunding campaign that aims to analyze the dental microbiome wraps up on April 25.
uBiome, a consumer-focused company that analyzes the human biome, is running the campaign. The campaign's goal is to raise funds and gather microbe samples for scientists to better understand the oral cavity.
"This information will be exceptionally useful for dentists who want to get an idea of a patient's baseline dental microbiome or for following up postdiagnosis of caries or periodontal disease," said Jeremy Horst, DDS, PhD, the study's principal investigator, in a press release. "We are all frustrated by our inability to predict and prevent dental disease. We need better tools to help us track the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease and help educate our patients."
By contributing $79 to the campaign, contributors will get a catalog of their own dental microbes through a self-collected gum sample. The researchers will also use contributors' samples and provided health information for a wide-scale study. They believe that understanding dental microbiota may help predict oral and nonoral diseases, including caries, periodontitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Alzheimer's disease.
"This new dental microbiome research is being done in collaboration with a team of dental experts and, most importantly, with the public," stated Jessica Richman, CEO and co-founder of uBiome.
uBiome will also give a portion of the campaign's proceeds to Oral Health America's Smiles Across America (SAA) program. SAA helps fight untreated oral diseases by linking local governments, businesses, and funders with dental care providers, and it also helps build school oral health programs.