Although it is one of the most common ailments on the planet, dental caries, more a complex interplay of factors, especially patient diet and the presence commonly known as cavities, remains a poorly understood disease. Caries are caused by of the bacteria Streptococcus mutans on the teeth. In spite of the fact that poor dental health has been linked to multiple full-body conditions and diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Heart Disease, and that eighty percent of all American adolescents will be diagnosed with caries, there are still few successful preventative treatments. Rampant caries diseases are especially common among lower-income populations, such as the devastating pediatric disease Early Childhood Caries, which has reported rates of as high as ninety percent in some subpopulations. Recent research into the intricate microbial ecology of the mouth and the other risk factors that may play a role in caries formation has provided insight into new treatment and prevention possibilities for this extremely common infectious disease.
Parkinson's disease is characterized by the progressive death of dopaminergic neurons in the human brain. The misfolding and aggregation of α-synuclein, as well as the presence of reactive oxygen species, are thought to contribute to this cellular toxicity. The mechanism of interaction between these two pathways is unknown. Mitochondrial dysfunction, specifically, incomplete respiratory metabolism and loss of antioxidant enzymes, has long been implicated as the culprit for oxidant accumulation.