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Acta Odontol Scand. 1997 Jan;55(1):9-13.

Risk factors for colonization of salivary lactobacilli and Candida in children.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Dentistry and Cariology, University of Oulu, Finland.


We analyzed the occurrence of salivary lactobacilli and Candida in a sample of 166 children aged 1-4 years (mean, 2.5 years) in relation to possible risk factors for colonization of the microbes. The risk factors examined were sucking habits, feeding habits, symptoms of respiratory infections, and antibiotic therapy at the time of sampling. Lactobacilli occurred in 18% of the children's saliva, and Candida in 24%. In the logistic modeling the variables most strongly associated with the occurrence of lactobacilli were pacifier-sucking (relative risk (RR), 2.9; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1-7.0; P = 0.01) and antibiotic therapy (RR, 4.6; CI, 1.2-16.9; P = 0.01). The association between positive Candida test and use of a pacifier was also significant (RR, 4.8; CI, 2.1-10.7; P = 0.0001). The results of the study suggest that the use of a pacifier increases the occurrence of both salivary lactobacilli and Candida. It could therefore be a factor influencing caries susceptibility and activity in children.

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