Healthy Oral Lifestyle Behaviours Are Associated with Favourable Composition and Function of the Oral Microbiota

Shirleen Hallang, Anders Esberg, Simon J Haworth, Ingegerd Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Modifiable lifestyle interventions may influence dental disease by shifting the composition of the oral microbiota. This study aimed to test whether lifestyle traits are associated with oral microbiota composition and function. Swedish volunteers, aged 16 to 79 years, completed a lifestyle traits questionnaire including lifestyle characteristics and oral health behaviours. Bacterial 16S rDNA amplicons were sequenced and classified into genera and species, using salivary DNA. Microbiota functions were predicted using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States and the KO Database of Molecular Functions by ortholog annotation. Tests for association used partial least squares and linear regression analysis with correction for multiple testing. The main analysis included 401 participants and 229 common bacterial species (found in ≥10% of the participants). The overall microbiota composition was strongly associated with questions “do you think caries is a disease?” and “do you use floss or a toothpick?”. Enriched relative abundance of Actinomyces, Campylobacter, Dialister, Fusobacterium, Peptidophaga and Scardovia genera (all p < 0.05 after adjustment for multiple testing), and functional profiles showing enrichment of carbohydrate related functions, were found in participants who answered “no” to these questions. Socio-demographic traits and other oral hygiene behaviours were also associated. Healthier oral microbiota composition and predicted functions are found in those with favourable oral health behaviours. Modifiable risk factors could be prioritized for possible interventions
Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2021


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