In the oral cavity, indigenous bacteria are often associated with two major oral diseases, caries and periodontal diseases. These diseases seem to appear following an imbalance in the oral resident microbiota, leading to the emergence of potentially pathogenic bacteria. To define the process involved in caries and periodontal diseases, it is necessary to understand the ecology of the oral cavity and to identify the factors responsible for the transition of the oral microbiota from a commensal to a pathogenic relationship with the host. The regulatory forces influencing the oral ecosystem can be divided into three major categories: host related, microbe related, and external factors. Among host factors, secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) constitutes the main specific immune defense mechanism in saliva and may play an important role in the homeostasis of the oral microbiota. Naturally occurring SIgA antibodies that are reactive against a variety of indigenous bacteria are detectable in saliva. These antibodies may control the oral microbiota by reducing the adherence of bacteria to the oral mucosa and teeth. It is thought that protection against bacterial etiologic agents of caries and periodontal diseases could be conferred by the induction of SIgA antibodies via the stimulation of the mucosal immune system. However, elucidation of the role of the SIgA immune system in controlling the oral indigenous microbiota is a prerequisite for the development of effective vaccines against these diseases. The role of SIgA antibodies in the acquisition and the regulation of the indigenous microbiota is still controversial. Our review discusses the importance of SIgA among the multiple factors that control the oral microbiota. It describes the oral ecosystems, the principal factors that may control the oral microbiota, a basic knowledge of the secretory immune system, the biological functions of SIgA, and, finally, experiments related to the role of SIgA in oral microbial ecology.