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VOLUME 15 , ISSUE 5 ( May, 2024 ) > List of Articles


Mutans Streptococci and Oral Health Behavior in Children and Adolescents Having Primary and Permanent Caries: A Case–Control Study

Sonia Bhonchal Bhardwaj, Urvashi Sharma, Manjula Mehta, Jyoti Sharma

Keywords : Caries, Oral health, Primary teeth, Permanent teeth, Streptococcus mutans

Citation Information : Bhardwaj SB, Sharma U, Mehta M, Sharma J. Mutans Streptococci and Oral Health Behavior in Children and Adolescents Having Primary and Permanent Caries: A Case–Control Study. World J Dent 2024; 15 (5):406-410.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-2432

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 28-06-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Aim: This case–control study aimed to evaluate the levels of mutans streptococci in primary caries in children and permanent caries in adolescents, with levels of mutans streptococci in caries-free children and adolescents in correlation with the decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth (DMFT) scores. The oral health behavior of these groups was also studied. Materials and methods: The sample size comprised 60 subjects—15 children having caries in primary dentition and 15 caries-free children in the age range of 2–5 years, 15 adolescents having caries in permanent dentition, and 15 caries-free adolescents in the age range of 12–15 years. The oral health behavior and dietary practices were recorded according to the World Health Organization (WHO) oral health questionnaire. The decayed, missing, and filled primary teeth (dmft)/DMFT index was calculated using WHO caries diagnostic criteria. Plaque samples were collected aseptically from the tooth sites, pooled, and inoculated on mitis salivarius agar (MSA). The total mutans streptococci count (CFU/mL) was then determined. The data were analyzed using paired t-tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results: Mutans streptococci in the caries group in children were 1.35 ± 1.99 CFU/mL. This was significantly higher (p < 0.01) compared to mutans streptococci in the caries group in adolescents, which was 0.8 ± 0.14 CFU/mL. The study shows high levels of mutans streptococci in the primary caries group with a high DMFT score correlating with increased sugar consumption and, to a lesser extent, with tooth brushing. Conclusion: In the present study, it is observed that mutans streptococci are more predominant in caries of children than in the caries of adolescents. Clinical significance: Caries research has focused largely on mutans streptococci as the main etiological pathogen of dental caries, but its impact on different stages of dentition has not been fully understood. Caries susceptibility associated with mutans streptococci is significantly high in the primary dentition stage. Therefore, the acquisition/transmission of mutans streptococci to prevent caries should be targeted in childhood.

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