Diversity of endodontic microbiota revisited

J Dent Res. 2009 Nov;88(11):969-81. doi: 10.1177/0022034509346549.


Although fungi, archaea, and viruses contribute to the microbial diversity in endodontic infections, bacteria are the most common micro-organisms occurring in these infections. Datasets from culture and molecular studies, integrated here for the first time, showed that over 460 unique bacterial taxa belonging to 100 genera and 9 phyla have been identified in different types of endodontic infections. The phyla with the highest species richness were Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria. Diversity varies significantly according to the type of infection. Overall, more taxa have been disclosed by molecular studies than by culture. Many cultivable and as-yet-uncultivated phylotypes have emerged as candidate pathogens based on detection in several studies and/or high prevalence. Now that a comprehensive inventory of the endodontic microbial taxa has been established, future research should focus on the association with different disease conditions, functional roles in the community, and susceptibility to antimicrobial treatment procedures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinobacteria / classification
  • Archaea / classification
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacterial Infections / classification*
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Bacteroidetes / classification
  • Dental Pulp Cavity / microbiology
  • Dental Pulp Diseases / microbiology*
  • Dental Pulp Necrosis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Biology
  • Proteobacteria / classification
  • RNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis
  • Recurrence
  • Root Canal Therapy


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S