Some 200 to 300 species of bacteria, yeast, and even protozoa harbor the human oral cavity.
The metabolic activity of the complex community of the bacteria determines the presence or absence of the disease of the hard and soft issues of the human oral cavity.
It is very difficult to assess and say that a particular species of bacteria causes diseases of the oral cavity, but it has become very clear that a relatively small group of bacteria is primarily responsible for the two major oral diseases: dental caries and periodontal disease.
There are two bacteria that are associated with the development of dental caries in humans. They are:
- Streptococcus mutans
Facts about cariogenic* bacteria:
- These two bacteria can produce huge amount of acid (acidogenic).
- They are tolerant of acidic environment (aciduric)
- They are vigorously stimulated by sucrose.
Streptococci are very strongly associated with the onset of caries whereas Lactobacilli are associated with the active progression of the cavitated lesions.
*The organisms that cause caries are known as “cariogenic”.
The degree to which a tooth is likely to become carious is described as its “cariogenicity potential”.
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