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Aust Dent J. 2007 Jun;52(2):93-100; quiz 159.

Factors influencing oral colonization of mutans streptococci in young children.

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  • 1School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Brisbane.

Abstract

This paper aims to critically review current knowledge about the key factors involved in oral colonization of the cariogenic group of bacteria, mutans streptococci (MS) in young children. MS, consisting mainly of the species Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus, are commonly cultured from the mouths of infants, with prevalence of infection ranging from around 30 per cent in 3 month old predentate children to over 80 per cent in 24 month old children with primary teeth. MS is usually transmitted to children through their mothers, and the risk of transmission increases with high maternal salivary levels of MS and frequent inoculation. Factors that affect the colonization of MS may be divided into bacterial virulence, host-related and environmental factors. Complex interaction among these factors determine the success and timing of MS colonization in the child. As clinical studies have shown that caries risk is correlated with age at which initial MS colonization occurred, strategies for the prevention of dental caries should include timely control of colonization of the cariogenic bacteria in the mouths of young children.

PMID:
17687953
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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