Dysbiosis of the Subgingival Microbiome and Relation to Periodontal Disease in Association with Obesity and Overweight

Betul Rahman, Farah Al-Marzooq, Hiba Saad, Dalenda Benzina, Sausan Al Kawas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity causes gut dysbiosis; nevertheless, little is known about the oral microbiome. We aimed to identify differences in the subgingival microbiota influenced by body weight and periodontal status. Patients (n = 75) recruited at the University Dental Hospital Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, were distributed into three equal groups (healthy weight, overweight, and obese) sub-divided into having either no-mild (NM) or moderate-severe (MS) periodontitis. Subgingival plaques were collected. Microbiota were identified by 16S rRNA sequencing using nanopore technology. Linear discriminant analysis demonstrated significant bacterial biomarkers for body weight and periodontal health. Unique microbiota signatures were identified, with enrichment of periopathogens in patients with MS periodontitis (Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in obese, Tannerella forsythia and Treponema denticola in overweight, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum in healthy weight), thus reflecting differences in the microbiota affected by body weight. Other pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella enterica and Klebsiella pneumoniae, were enriched in overweight subjects with NM periodontitis, suggesting an increase in the relative abundance of pathogens even in patients with good periodontal health if they were overweight. Alpha and beta diversities were significantly different among the groups. Dysbiosis of the subgingival microbiota in obese and overweight individuals was associated with increased prevalence and severity of periodontal disease, which was correlated with the body mass index. This study highlights the immense importance of the oral microbiome and the need for lifestyle and dental interventions to resolve oral dysbiosis and restore normal homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number826
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • 16S rRNA sequencing
  • obesity
  • oral dysbiosis
  • overweight
  • periodontitis
  • subgingival microbiome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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