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Rinse and Rethink! How mouthwash affects the oral microbiome

Chandra Ramalingam


I recently had the exciting opportunity to attend the 14th European Oral Microbiology Workshop in Valencia, Spain. It was a privilege to present my research on "Community metaproteomics to study the functional response of the oral microbiome" to a distinguished audience of experts in the field.


My research investigates the impact of low-dose antimicrobials, such as those found in chlorhexidine mouthwash, on the composition and underlying function of the oral microbiome. I'm using metaproteomics to explore these changes and the underlying mechanisms within the oral microbial community.


The growing body of evidence on antimicrobial resistance underscores the importance of studying how bacterial communities in the mouth interact, particularly with prolonged use of oral products containing antimicrobial agents. Chlorhexidine (CHX), the gold standard anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis agent, exemplifies this concern. While effective, recent studies reveal emerging resistance to CHX, linked to changes in bacterial nitrate metabolism, pH levels, and lactate production. These alterations can have detrimental effects on oral and potentially systemic health. Recognizing this critical issue, various groups at the European Oral Microbiology Workshop highlighted the importance of research using complex polymicrobial community models to understand these changes better.

 

A huge shoutout to Dr. Alex Mira's Oral Microbiome Lab at the FISABIO Foundation in Spain for putting on such a well-organized event! The venue offered stunning Valencian sunsets, and delicious paellas were a delightful complement to the well-rounded program that facilitated student interaction and learning. I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to have presented my research and for being selected as one of eight Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to receive a travel grant from the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS). Huge thanks to the organizers for this amazing opportunity and for bringing together researchers from all over Europe and the UK. Overall, the conference was a fantastic springboard for my future research, and plays a big role in fostering collaboration and advancing knowledge in oral microbiology.


                

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