Assessing Caries Risk of Infants

An indicator to assess caries risk of infants is very important. One conventional risk indicator is the number and/or proportions of Streptococcus mutans, but this method reflects the existing situation and is not suitable for assessing caries risk of infants that have not yet been infected with S mutans. Researchers searched for an indicator for the establishment of S mutans. To evaluate the changes caused by the establishment of S mutans in the microbiota of the infant oral cavity, the authors monitored changes in the oral microbiota of 2 predentate infants over a 3-year period and in a cross-sectional study of 40 nursery school-aged children. Saliva was cultivated on nonselective blood agar, Mitis-Salivarius agar, and Mitis-Salivarius agar supplemented with bacitracin combined with identification of selected isolates. Two longitudinal observations suggested that S mutans establishment would induce a decrease in α-haemolytic bacteria in the microbial population of the oral cavity. This suggestion was compensated with the results of the study, and it was revealed that the establishment of 103 CFU/mL of S mutans in saliva might be predicted by a microbiota comprising less than approximately 55% of α-haemolytic bacteria. The authors conclude that a decrease in the proportion of α-haemolytic bacteria in the saliva of infants is applicable as an indicator to predict the establishment of S mutans and to assess dental caries risk. This information can serve as a background for planning dental care and treatment in the infants before infection with S mutans occurs.
(Source: International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry; doi:10.1111/j.1365-263X.2011.01183.x; first published online September 19, 2011)


Dentistry Today is The Nations Leading Clinical News Magazine for Dentists. Here you can get the latest dental news from the whole world quickly.

 

Sponsor Logos