I have also heard a similar story concerning the microbial flora
of the oral cavity. It is most likely true. The human oral
cavity is a unique environment for bugs to reside. There are a
number of different surfaces for a bacterium to adhere to (and
thus begins a potential biofilm/dental plaque. The mouth
obviously contains teeth - a solid surface with glycoproteins
and the like attached as a conditioning film - perfect for many
primary colonizers including Steptococcus and Actimomyces
species. If I were you, read up on some work by Kolenbrander
(adhere today, here tomorrow) or by Jack London relating to the
Ecology of the human oral cavity.
As for total bacterial counts - who knows! But a conservative
estimate on the the number of species present in the mouth is
greater than 500.
Hope that helps.
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