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Front Microbiol. 2015 Feb 24;6:119. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00119. eCollection 2015.

Subgingival microbiota in health compared to periodontitis and the influence of smoking.

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Department of Health and Genomics, Centre for Advanced Research in Public Health, Fomento de la Investigación Sanitaria y Biomédica de la Comunitat Valenciana Foundation Valencia, Spain.
Oral Sciences Research Group, Special Needs Unit, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Santiago de Compostela Santiago, Spain.
Periodontology Unit, Department of Clinical Research, University College London-Eastman Dental Institute London, UK.
Department of Microbial Diseases, University College London-Eastman Dental Institute London, UK.


The etiology of periodontitis has traditionally been associated to a consortium of three bacterial species-the so-called "red-complex" of periodontal disease-which has been the target for most diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. However, other species have also been found to correlate with disease severity. In addition, the influence of smoking on periodontal microbiota is poorly understood. In the current manuscript, the composition of the subgingival microbiota in healthy individuals vs. patients with chronic periodontitis has been investigated using 16S pyrosequencing and the influence of smoking on periodontal composition has been examined. Subgingival bacterial communities were sampled from 82 patients: 22 non-smoking healthy controls, 28 non-smoking periodontal patients, and 32 smoking periodontal patients. Bacterial diversity was higher in periodontal patients than in healthy subjects, which could be interpreted as the consequence of a nutritionally richer environment or a reduced immune competence. Periodontal patients showed a significantly higher prevalence/relative abundance of "established" periopathogens but also other taxa whose role is not well-established and that should be targets for future research. These include Anaeroglobus, Bulleidia, Desulfobulbus, Filifactor, Mogibacterium, Phocaeicola, Schwartzia or TM7. The microbial community of smoking-associated periodontitis is less diverse and distinct from that of non-smokers, indicating that smoking has an influence on periodontal ecology. Interestingly, the high sequencing coverage allowed the detection at low proportions of periodontal pathogens in all healthy individuals, indicating that chronic periodontitis cannot be strictly considered an infectious disease but the outcome of a polymicrobial dysbiosis, where changes in the proportions of microbial consortia trigger the inflammatory and tissue-degradation responses of the host.


16S ribosomal RNA; chronic periodontitis; dental plaque; microbiome; oral health; smoking

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