Objective: To evaluate the clinical importance of mixed mutans streptococci colonization in predicting caries in preschool children. Methods: Caries prevalence was examined twice, with a 6-month interval, in 410 preschool children aged 3-4 years at baseline. A commercial strip method was used to evaluate the mutans streptococci score in plaque collected from eight selected interdental spaces and in saliva. Mutans streptococci typing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays (Streptococcus sobrinus and Streptococcus mutans, including serotypes c, e, and f) were performed using colonies on the strips as template. Results: Twenty variables were examined in a univariate analysis to predict caries development: questionnaire variables, results of clinical examination, mutans streptococci scores, and PCR detection of S. sobrinus and S. mutans (including serotypes c, e, and f). Sixteen variables showed statistically significant associations (P < 0.04) in the univariate analysis. However, when entered into a logistic regression, only five variables remained significant (P < 0.05): caries experience at baseline; mixed colonization of S. sobrinus and S. mutans including S. mutans serotypes; high plaque mutans streptococci score; habitual use of sweet drinks; and nonuse of fluoride toothpaste. Conclusion: 'Mixed mutans streptococci colonization' is a novel measure correlated with caries development in their primary dentition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)