The human mouth houses the second most diverse microbial community in the body, with almost 700 species of bacteria colonizing the hard surfaces of teeth and the soft tissues of the oral mucosa. To compete in the relatively exposed oral cavity, resident microbes must avoid being replaced by newcomers. This selective constraint, coupled with pressure on the host to cultivate a beneficial microbiome, has rendered a commensal oral microbiota that displays colonization resistance, protecting the human host from invasive species, including pathogens. Current control of dental plaque-related diseases is non-specific and is centered on the removal of plaque by mechanical means. Several new methods based on the modulation of the microbiome that aim at maintaining and re-establishing a healthy oral ecosystem have been developed and has greatly expanded our knowledge of the composition and function of the oral microbiome in health and disease. Promoting a balanced microbiome is therefore important to effectively maintain or restore oral health. This review provides an updated body of knowledge on oral microbiome in health and disease and discusses the implications for modern-day oral healthcare. Filipino Oral Microbiome Research to develop a policy framework for microbiome-based management of dental diseases and opportunities will be discussed.
Part of the book: Dental Caries