The oral ecosystem comprises the oral flora, so-called oral microbiome, the different anatomic microniches of the oral cavity, and its bathing fluid, saliva. The oral microbiome comprises a group of organisms and includes bacteria, archaea, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. The oral microbiome exists suspended in saliva as planktonic phase organisms or attached to oral surfaces as a plaque biofilm. Homeostasis of the plaque biofilm and its symbiotic relationship with the host is critical for oral health. Disequilibrium or dysbiosis within the plaque biofilms is the initiating event that leads to major oral diseases, such as caries and periodontal disease. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.