The oral microbiome – friend or foe?

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The oral microbiome - friend or foe?

Eur J Oral Sci. 2018 Oct;126 Suppl 1:5-12

Authors: Kilian M

The microbiome and the human body constitute an integrated superorganism, which is the result of millions of years of coevolution with mutual adaptation and functional integration, and confers significant benefits for both parties. This evolutionary process has resulted in a highly diverse oral microbiome, which covers the full spectrum of acidogenic, aciduric, inflammatory, and anti-inflammatory properties. The relative proportions of members of the microbiome are affected by factors associated with modern life, such as general diet patterns, sugar consumption, tobacco smoking, oral hygiene, use of antibiotics and other antimicrobials, and vaccines. A perturbed balance in the oral microbiome may result in caries, periodontal disease, or candidiasis, and oral bacteria passively transferred to normally sterile parts of the body may cause extra-oral infections. Nevertheless, it should never be our goal to eliminate the oral microbiome, but rather we have to develop ways to re-establish a harmonious coexistence that is lost because of the modern lifestyle. With regard to oral diseases, this goal can normally be achieved by optimal oral hygiene, exposure to fluoride, reduction of sucrose consumption, stimulation of our innate immune defense, smoking cessation, and control of diabetes.

PMID: 30178561 [PubMed - in process]