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Caries Res. 2011;45(2):100-6. doi: 10.1159/000324809. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Dental caries in rats associated with Candida albicans.

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Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.


In addition to occasional opportunistic colonization of the oral mucosa, Candida albicans is frequently found in carious dentin. The yeast's potential to induce dental caries as a consequence of its pronounced ability to produce and tolerate acids was investigated. Eighty caries-active Osborne-Mendel rats were raised on an ampicillin-supplemented diet and exposed to C. albicans and/or Streptococcus mutans, except for controls. Throughout the 28-day test period, the animals were offered the modified cariogenic diet 2000a, containing 40% various sugars. Subsequently, maxillary molars were scored for plaque extent. After dissection, the mandibular molars were evaluated for smooth surface and fissure caries. Test animals exposed to C. albicans displayed considerably more advanced fissure lesions (p < 0.001) than non-exposed controls. While S. mutans yielded similar results, a combined association of C. albicans and S. mutans had no effect on occlusal caries incidence. Substituting dietary sucrose by glucose did not modify caries induction by C. albicans. However, animals fed a diet containing 20% of both sugars showed no differences to non-infected controls. Smooth surface caries was not generated by the yeast. This study provides experimental evidence that C. albicans is capable of causing occlusal caries in rats at a high rate.

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