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Aust Dent J. 2013 Dec;58(4):507-13. doi: 10.1111/adj.12113.

Factors associated with colonization of Streptococcus mutans in 8- to 32-month-old children: a cohort study.

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Department of Preventive Dentistry, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Stomatology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.



The factors involved in Streptococcus mutans colonization in young children are not clear. The aim of this study was to determine the factors associated with S. mutans colonization in 8- to 32-month-old children.


A group of 225 caries-free 8-month-old children was recruited for the study. They were examined every six months until they were 32 months old to investigate their environmental factors, host factors and bacterial transmission factors. At baseline and during each examination, their teeth were checked for the presence of dental plaque and developmental defects of enamel, and S. mutans plaque status was assessed using a real-time PCR test.


Eight children (3.6%) showed S. mutans colonization by the age of 8 months. The percentages of colonization were 6.0% at 14 months, 16.2% at 20 months, 26.7% at 26 months, and 33.5% at 32 months. The results showed that females (p = 0.006), children with enamel hypoplasia (p = 0.024), children with low birth weights (p = 0.005), those who consume more sweets (p < 0.001), and those with a higher proportion of visible plaque (p = 0.020 and p = 0.041) were more likely to be colonized by S. mutans.


Streptococcus mutans colonization in young children was associated with gender, tooth enamel hypoplasia, low birth weight, frequent consumption of sweets and poor oral hygiene.


Cohort study; Streptococcus mutans; colonization

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