The recent application of advanced genetic and bioinformatic methods reveal an overwhelming diversity in dental biofilms. Not only do dental biofilms show a considerable degree of individuality, but host genetics may also be crucial to the response to the microbial challenge. The attempts to incriminate single species in the etiology of caries and periodontal diseases may have been too simplistic. Although the challenge posed by this complexity may seem insurmountable, ongoing studies using new comprehensive approaches to understanding both the microbial challenge and the host response in vivo render significant progress in the near future realistic.
Keywords: dental plaque, biofilm, biodiversity, etiology