Acquisition and maturation of oral microbiome throughout childhood:An update

Benedita Sampaio-Maia Sampaio-Maia, Filipa Monteiro-Silva Monteiro-Silva


Traditional microbiology concepts are being renewed since the development of new microbiological
technologies, such as, sequencing and large-scale genome analysis. Since the entry into the new
millennium, a lot of new information has emerged regarding the oral microbiome. This revision
presents an overview of this renewed knowledge on oral microbial community acquisition in the
newborn and on the evolution of this microbiome to adulthood. Throughout childhood, the oral
microbial load increases, but the microbial diversity decreases. The initial colonizers are related
to the type of delivery, personal relationships, and living environment. These fi rst colonizers
seem to condition the subsequent colonization, which will lead to more complex and stable
ecosystems in adulthood. These early oral microbial communities, therefore, play a major role in
the development of the adult oral microbiota and may represent a source of both pathogenic and
protective microorganisms in a very early stage of human life. The implications of this knowledge
on the daily clinical practice of odontopediatrics are highlighted.
Key Words: Oral health, Oral microbiome, pediatrics

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