Evaluation of a new oral health scale of infectious potential based on the salivary microbiota



The objective of this study is to analyse the correlation of our own design of oral health scale (grades 0 and 1–better oral health vs. grades 2 and 3–poorer oral health) with the salivary microbiota.

Patients and methods

The oral health scale we elaborated was evaluated in 100 adults (25 patients from each global oral health grade). Saliva samples collected from these patients were analysed using microbiological culture techniques, determining the presence/absence and the concentrations of some odontopathogens and periodontopathogens.


In comparison with the global oral health grades 0–1, the grades 2–3 presented significantly higher values for the presence of odontopathogens (78 vs. 38 %; Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus spp. and Actinomyces spp.) and periodontopathogens (100 vs. 90 %; Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Campylobacter spp., Fusobacterium spp. and Prevotella gingivalis). In comparison with the grades 0–1, the grades 2–3 presented significantly higher values for the concentrations (CFU/mL log10) of facultative anaerobes, strict anaerobes, odontopathogens (S. mutans, Lactobacillus spp. and Actinomyces spp.) and periodontopathogens (A. actinomycetemcomitans, Capnocytophaga spp., Campylobacter spp. and Fusobacterium spp.).


Our new global oral health scale shows a positive correlation with the detection and quantification of certain odontopathogens and periodontopathogens present in the saliva, confirming their possible infectious potential.

Clinical relevance

Our own design of oral health scale could be particularly useful for the epidemiological study of different populations, the evaluation of the influence of oral health on the development of certain systemic diseases as well as the analysis of inter- and intra-individual variability of the oral microbiota in relation to the different grades of the oral health scale.

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This work was supported by projects 04-GCD-CICS-09 from CESPU (Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde-Norte, Centro de Investigação de Ciências da Saúde, Gandra, Portugal) and PI11/01383 from Carlos III Institute of Health (General Division of Evaluation and Research Promotion, Madrid, Spain), which is integrated in National Plan of Research, Development and Innovation (PN I+D+I 2008-2011). This project was cofinanced by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF 2007-2013).

The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Inmaculada Tomás.

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Relvas, M., Tomás, I., Casares-De-Cal, M. et al. Evaluation of a new oral health scale of infectious potential based on the salivary microbiota. Clin Oral Invest 19, 717–728 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-014-1286-2

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  • Global oral health
  • Infectious potential
  • Salivary microbiota
  • Odontopathogenic bacteria
  • Periodontopathogenic bacteria