Eastman Dental Institute


The oral microbiome

4 December 2017

Liam P. Shaw, Andrew M. Smith and Adam P. Roberts

Emerging Topics in Life Sciences

The human microbiome is receiving a great deal of attention as its role in health and disease becomes ever more apparent. The oral microbiome, is arguably the most well-studied human microbiome to date.

The oral microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live in the oral cavity, encompassing bacteria, viruses, archaea, and fungi. The content of this review focuses mainly on bacteria, its most characterized inhabitants. This characterization is largely due to recent developments in sequencing techniques, particularly using relatively cheap amplicon sequencing, to target 16S ribosomal RNA genes shared among prokaryotes.

Such culture-free investigation has improved our understanding of the diversity of the oral microbiome, but there is still much to understand, particularly regarding the oral microbiome’s relationship with its host:us.

It is obvious that we have only just begun to scratch the surface of the complex bacterial and bacterial–host interactions within this complex community. In this review, we:

  1. Describe the factors that are known to influence the development of the oral microbiome.
  2. Discuss the maintenance of a stable core microbiome
  3. Explore the interactions of the oral microbiome with the host and discuss the interactions underlying human health and disease.

Read the full paper

Also see:

The Human Salivary Microbiome Is Shaped by Shared Environment Rather than Genetics: Evidence from a Large Family of Closely Related Individuals