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Environ Microbiol. 2015 Mar;17(3):699-710. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12502. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Oral cavity contains distinct niches with dynamic microbial communities.

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State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China; Department of Endodontics and Operative Dentistry, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


Microbes colonize human oral surfaces within hours after delivery. During postnatal development, physiological changes, such as the eruption of primary teeth and replacement of the primary dentition with permanent dentition, greatly alter the microbial habitats, which, in return, may lead to community composition shifts at different phases in people's lives. By profiling saliva, supragingival and mucosal plaque samples from healthy volunteers at different ages and dentition stages, we observed that the oral cavity is a highly heterogeneous ecological system containing distinct niches with significantly different microbial communities. More importantly, the phylogenetic microbial structure varies with ageing. In addition, only a few taxa were present across the whole populations, indicating a core oral microbiome should be defined based on age and oral niches.

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