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Oral Bacteria Create a ‘Fingerprint’ in Your Mouth

The bacteria in the human mouth – particularly those nestled under the gums – are as powerful as a fingerprint at identifying a person’s ethnicity, new research shows.

Scientists identified a total of almost 400 different species of microbes in the mouths of 100 study participants belonging to four ethnic affiliations: non-Hispanic blacks, whites, Chinese and Latinos.

Only 2 percent of bacterial species were present in all individuals – but in different concentrations according to ethnicity – and 8 percent were detected in 90 percent of the participants. Beyond that, researchers found that each ethnic group in the study was represented by a “signature” of shared microbial communities.

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