This specialist area studies micro-organisms of the mouth, teeth and gums and how they interact with each other. It looks at the role of various organisms which cause a range of oral diseases and infections. Examples of these organisms include bacteria, viruses and fungi.
There is a particular focus on micro-organisms that cause tooth decay and periodontal gum disease.
These diseases are all too common and can affect other areas of the body as well as the teeth and gums. They are especially problematic for people with compromised immune systems which are one of the drivers behind research within this area.