Departmental Papers (Dental)

Document Type

Journal Article

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Publication Source

Periodontology 2000





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Different mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain the increase in prevalence and severity of periodontitis in older adults, including shifts in the periodontal microbiota. However, the actual impact of aging in the composition of subgingival biofilms remains unclear. In the present article, we provide an overview of the composition of the subgingival biofilm in older adults and the potential effects of age on the oral microbiome. In particular, this review covers the following topics: (i) the oral microbiota of an aging mouth, (ii) the effects of age and time on the human oral microbiome, (iii) the potential impact of inflammaging and immunosenescence in the host-oral microbiota interactions, and (iv) the relationship of the aging oral microbiota and Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, in order to explore in greater breadth the potential effects of aging on the periodontal microbiota, we present analyses of data compiled from large clinical studies that evaluated the subgingival microbiota of periodontally healthy subjects and periodontitis patients from a wide age spectrum (20–83 years old). Those studies were conducted at Guarulhos University (São Paulo, SP, Brazil) and at The Forsyth Institute (Cambridge, USA), from 1999 to 2014.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Feres, M., Teles, F., Teles, R., Figueiredo, L. C., & Faveri, M. (2016). The subgingival periodontal microbiota of the aging mouth. Periodontology 2000, 72(1), 30-53. doi:10.1111/prd.12136], which has been published in final form at []. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


At the time of publication, author Flavia Teles was affiliated with UNC Chapel Hill. Currently, she is a faculty member at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.


microbiology, periodontal diseases, periodontitis, aging, older adults, biofilm

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Dentistry Commons



Date Posted: 25 February 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.