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J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Aug;10(8):ZC109-12. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/19387.8357. Epub 2016 Aug 1.

Association of Oral Candida albicans with Severe Early Childhood Caries - A Pilot Study.

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Professor, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, A.J. Institute of Dental Sciences , Mangaluru, Karnataka, India .
Senior Lecturer, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Srinivas Institute of Dental Sciences , Mangaluru, Karnataka, India .
Senior Lecturer, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Ahmedabad Dental College and Hospital , Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India .
Senior Lecturer, Depatment of Oral Pathology, Narsinhbhai Patel Dental College and Hospital , Visnagar, Gujarat, India .
Senior Lecturer, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Haldia Institute of Dental Sciences and Research , West Bengal, India .
Consultant Pedodontist, Nanavati Hospital , Mumbai, India .
Senior Lecturer, Kannur Dental College , Anjarakandy Integrated Campus, Kerala, India .
Consultant Pedodontist, RK's Dental Care Centre , Korba, Chhattisgarh, India .



In early childhood, children are more susceptible to opportunistic microbial colonization in the oral cavity due to immature immune system and not fully established micro flora. The current literature proposes a probable role of Candida albicans, a fungus in the etiopathogenesis of dental caries.


This study was conducted to compare the Candida albicans count in children with severe early childhood caries and caries free children.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in 40 randomly selected healthy children between 12 to 71 months of age, who were divided into two groups based on the caries experience as Severe Early Childhood Caries (SECC) (dmfs ≥4) and caries free (dmfs = 0). The caries experiences (dmfs index) of the 40 children were recorded using visible light and diagnostic instruments. A 2ml sample of unstimulated whole saliva collected from the children was transported to the microbiology laboratory in universal containers and evaluated for Candida albicans count using the selective media. The data was statistically analyzed using SPSS software 17.0.


Candida albicans was found in both the SECC group and caries free group. Median Candida albicans of the SECC group was numerically greater than the caries free group and this difference was highly statistically significant (p=0.012).


In this present cross-sectional study, we found a 100% prevalence of Candida albicans in the saliva of the study children. There was a highly significant increase in Candida albicans count in SECC children compared to the caries free children.


Chromagar medium; Dental caries; Polymorphic fungus

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