Microbiome of Deep Dentinal Caries from Reversible Pulpitis to Irreversible Pulpitis

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Introduction:This study examined the identity of the microbiome of deep dentinal caries and its correlation with the inflammation status of caries-induced pulpitis.Methods:Seventy-five cases were diagnosed based on the American Association of Endodontics's diagnostic criteria and divided into 4 groups: normal pulp with deep caries (NP; n = 13), reversible pulpitis with only cold-evoked pain (CRP; n = 17), reversible pulpitis with both cold/heat-evoked pain (CHRP; n = 24), and symptomatic irreversible pulpitis (SIP; n = 21). Samples were sequenced by 16S rDNA. Alpha and beta diversity were determined. Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) analysis was used to detect intergroup differences, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to assess the role of the caries microbiome in caries-induced pulpitis.Results:The 16S rDNA sequencing yielded 9100 operational taxonomic units. Lactobacillus had the highest relative abundance at the genus level among the 4 groups. There were significant differences in the distribution of the microbiome among the groups. In an alpha diversity analysis, species richness differed between the CRP group and the other groups. In a beta diversity analysis, the distribution of microorganisms in the SIP group was significantly different from those in the other 3 groups. LEfSe analysis indicated substantial differences in the microbiome among the groups, and the areas under the ROC curves (AUC) were all high (AUC: 0.734–0.952).Conclusions:Characterization of the caries microbiome has the potential to become an auxiliary method for the diagnosis of pulpitis. This finding may prompt new research on diagnostic strategies for caries-induced pulpitis.

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