We have curated this article as a reference point for The Larkin Protocol.
The estimation of oral microbiome (OM) taxonomic composition in periodontally healthy individuals can often be biased because the clinically periodontally healthy subjects for evaluation can already experience dysbiosis. Usually, they are included just based on the absence of clinical signs of periodontitis. Additionally, the age of subjects is used to be higher to correspond well with tested groups of patients with chronic periodontitis, a disorder typically associated with aging. However, the dysbiosis of the OM precedes the clinical signs of the disease by many months or even years. The absence of periodontal pockets thus does not necessarily mean also good periodontal health and the obtained image of “healthy OM” can be distorted.
To overcome this bias, we taxonomically characterized the OM in almost a hundred young students of dentistry with precise oral hygiene and no signs of periodontal disease. We compared the results with the OM composition of older periodontally healthy individuals and also a group of patients with severe periodontitis (aggressive periodontitis according to former classification system). The clustering analysis revealed not only two compact clearly separated clusters corresponding to each state of health, but also a group of samples forming an overlap between both well-pronounced states.
Additionally, in the cluster of periodontally healthy samples, few outliers with atypical OM and two major stomatotypes could be distinguished, differing in the prevalence and relative abundance of two main bacterial genera: Streptococcus and Veillonella. We hypothesize that the two stomatotypes could represent the microbial succession from periodontal health to starting dysbiosis. The old and young periodontally healthy subjects do not cluster separately but a trend of the OM in older subjects to periodontitis is visible. Several bacterial genera were identified to be typically more abundant in older periodontally healthy subjects.