Oral bacteria attack teeth in more ways than we knew. Bacteria that sequester phosphate in the ocean also do so in the mouth. Since phosphate is an integral component of enamel, its removal can weaken the teeth and make decay more likely. So keep flossing, folks!
Good dental hygiene can prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss. And according to recent research, it just might also be a means of preventing rheumatoid arthritis, by eliminating a bacterium whose products incite the immune system to attack the joints.