Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: The role of the oral microbiota in chronic non-communicable disease and its relevance to the Indigenous health gap in Australia
Author: Handsley-Davis, M.
Jamieson, L.
Kapellas, K.
Hedges, J.
Weyrich, L.S.
Citation: BMC Oral Health, 2020; 20(1):327-1-327-11
Publisher: Springer Nature; BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1472-6831
Statement of
Matilda Handsley‑Davis, Lisa Jamieson, Kostas Kapellas, Joanne Hedges and Laura S. Weyrich
Abstract: Background: Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders (hereafter respectfully referred to as Indigenous Australians) experience disproportionately poor health and low life expectancy compared to non-Indigenous Australians. Poor oral health is a critical, but understudied, contributor to this health gap. A considerable body of evidence links poor oral health to increased risks of other chronic non-communicable conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and poor emotional wellbeing. Main: The oral microbiota is indisputably associated with several oral diseases that disproportionately affect Indigenous Australians. Furthermore, a growing literature suggests direct and indirect links between the oral microbiota and systemic chronic non-communicable diseases that underpin much of the Indigenous health gap in Australia. Recent research indicates that oral microbial communities are shaped by a combination of cultural and lifestyle factors and are inherited from caregivers to children. Systematic differences in oral microbiota diversity and composition have been identified between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals in Australia and elsewhere, suggesting that microbiota-related diseases may be distinct in Indigenous Australians. Conclusion: Oral microbiota research involving Indigenous Australians is a promising new area that could benefit Indigenous communities in numerous ways. These potential benefits include: (1) ensuring equity and access for Indigenous Australians in microbiota-related therapies; (2) opportunities for knowledge-sharing and collaborative research between scientists and Indigenous communities; and (3) using knowledge about the oral microbiota and chronic disease to help close the gaps in Indigenous oral and systemic health.
Keywords: Indigenous health; Australia; microbiota; microbiome; oral health; chronic disease
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
DOI: 10.1186/s12903-020-01308-y
Grant ID:
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Dentistry publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_131979.pdfPublished Version1.01 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.