Scanning electron microscopic picture showing a wide variety of different microbes in dental plaque (biofilm). Photo: UiO.
The oral cavity harbours a complex microflora in which bacteria predominate. Together with research workers at the Forsyth Institute we have detected more than 700 bacterial species in the oral cavity of man. Unfortunately, only half of them has so far been cultivated. We have found that many of the uncultivable organisms play important roles in oral diseases. It is also important that we know which organisms in the mouth are compatible with health.
We have examined that. Furthermore, the taxonomy for parts of the cultivable oral microbiota in oral biofilm is not well established and certain organisms here are probably misclassified.
The major research objective for the Olsen group has been taxonomy of microorganisms in oral biofilm, i.e., classification, identification and nomenclature of organisms, particularly anaerobic bacteria and yeasts.