Thomas E. Rams is the director of the Oral Microbiology Testing Service Laboratory and a practicing clinical periodontist. He is a professor in the Kornberg School of Dentistry’s Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, and a professor in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology. 

He is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. 

He has a bachelor of science in environmental health from The George Washington University; a master of health science in environmental health sciences from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; a doctor of dental surgery from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry; and a PhD in medical sciences (oral microbiology) from the University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands.

Dr. Rams completed postgraduate specialty residencies in periodontics at the New York VA Medical Center, and in dental public health at the National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, where he also received a postgraduate fellowship certificate in clinical dentistry. 

Dr. Rams is the only periodontist in the United States who is state-licensed as a director of a clinical diagnostic microbiology laboratory. His research interests are focused on clinical periodontal diagnostic microbiology, use of systemic and local antimicrobial agents in minimally-invasive periodontal therapy, and laser-assisted periodontal regeneration surgery. 

Dr. Rams has served as director of the OMTS Laboratory since 1995.

Courses Taught




PERG 8301

Introduction to Postgraduate Periodontology


PERG 8302

Biology and Pathology of the Periodontium


ORBG 8011

Molecular Oral and Craniofacial Biology


ORBG 8015

Research Methodology and Study Design


ORBG 8017

Oral Microbiology and Immunology


Selected Publications

  • Rams, T.E., Sautter, J.D., Hsiao, C.Y., & Winkelhoff, A.J.v. (2018). Phenotypic identification of periodontal Prevotella intermedia/nigrescens group isolates validated by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Anaerobe, 54, pp. 201-204. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2018.06.007

  • Rams, T.E., Listgarten, M.A., & Slots, J. (2018). Radiographic alveolar bone morphology and progressive periodontitis. Journal of Periodontology, 89(4), pp. 424-430. doi: 10.1002/JPER.17-0279

  • Rams, T.E. & Loesche, W.J. (2017). Relationship between Periodontal Screening and Recording index scores and need for periodontal access surgery. Journal of Periodontology, 88(10), pp. 1042-1050. doi: 10.1902/jop.2017.170070

  • Rams, T.E. & Alwaqyan, A.Y. (2017). In vitro performance of DIAGNOdent laser fluorescence device for dental calculus detection on human tooth root surfaces. Saudi Dental Journal, 29(4), pp. 171-178. doi: 10.1016/j.sdentj.2017.08.001

  • Rams, T.E. & Winkelhoff, A.J.v. (2017). Introduction to Clinical Microbiology for the General Dentist. Dental Clinics of North America, 61(2), pp. 179-197. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2016.11.001

  • Winkelhoff, A.J.v., Rurenga, P., Wekema-Mulder, G.J., Singadji, Z.M., & Rams, T.E. (2015). Non-oral gram-negative facultative rods in chronic periodontitis microbiota. Microbial Pathogenesis, 94, pp. 117-122. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2016.01.020

  • Rams, T.E., Sautter, J.D., Getreu, A., & Winkelhoff, A.J.v. (2015). Phenotypic identification of Porphyromonas gingivalis validated with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Microbial Pathogenesis, 94, pp. 112-116. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2016.01.021

  • Rams, T.E., Hawley, C.E., Whitaker, E.J., Degener, J.E., & Winkelhoff, A.J.v. (2015). Centipeda periodontii in human periodontitis. Odontology, 103(3), pp. 286-291. doi: 10.1007/s10266-014-0166-1

  • Keyes, P.H. & Rams, T.E. (2015). Subgingival Microbial and Inflammatory Cell Morphotypes Associated with Chronic Periodontitis Progression in Treated Adults. Journal of the International Academy of Periodontology, 17(2), pp. 49-57.

  • Rams, T.E., Degener, J.E., & Winkelhoff, A.J.V. (2014). Antibiotic resistance in human chronic periodontitis microbiota. Journal of Periodontology, 85(1), pp. 160-169. doi: 10.1902/jop.2013.130142

  • Rams, T.E., Feik, D., Mortensen, J.E., Degener, J.E., & Winkelhoff, A.J.V. (2014). Antibiotic susceptibility of periodontal Streptococcus constellatus and Streptococcus intermedius clinical isolates. Journal of Periodontology, 85(12), pp. 1792-1798. doi: 10.1902/jop.2014.130291

  • Rams, T.E., Degener, J.E., & Winkelhoff, A.J.V. (2014). Antibiotic resistance in human peri-implantitis microbiota. Clinical Oral Implants Research, 25(1), pp. 82-90. doi: 10.1111/clr.12160