Mouth bacteria make certain types of surface proteins to adhere and create plaque (biofilm) on teeth. Researchers discovered that bacteria can change the type of protein, depending on whether the teeth already have a biofilm or no biofilm. Each case requires different surface proteins to adhere to the teeth.
What’s new about this research is that scientists have discovered the bacterial signaling pathway that regulates which surface protein the bacteria makes. This new knowledge will help researchers better understand oral bacterial communities and develop new types of oral antibiotics that target this chemical pathway.