Int J Stomatol ›› 2020, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (5): 506-514.doi: 10.7518/gjkq.2020032

• Oral Microecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research progress on the microecology of dental plaque in caries

Yang Zhilei(),Liu Baoying()   

  1. Dept. of Stomatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, China
  • Received:2019-11-28 Revised:2020-05-28 Online:2020-09-01 Published:2020-09-16
  • Contact: Baoying Liu;
  • Supported by:
    Youth Innovation Fund Project of The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University(YNQN2017064)


The ‘ecological plaque theory’ leads a new direction for deep understanding on the aetiology of dental caries. This theory supports that caries is mediated by microecological imbalance in dental plaque biofilm, which shifts towards acid-producing and acid-resistant environment due to various factors. The emergence of high-throughput microbial detection technology based on the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene made it possible to comprehensively study dental plaque microecology in caries. The main difference in microflora between health and dental caries does not depend on the composition, including core microflora, but that acid-producing and acid-resistant bacteria were selected during the process of dental caries. Different individuals may have different compositions of microflora in dental caries. Dental caries is accompanied by a series of changes in the ecological structure and function in dental plaques. Such changes include decreased microbial diversity, increased homogeneity, enhanced synergy among species and changed metabolism. In this paper, current status and frontiers on research of plaque microecology in dental caries will be reviewed.

Key words: dental caries, microbial diversity, plaque microecology, functional activity of microflora

CLC Number: 

  • R781.1

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