Introduction: The relationships between suspected bacteria in saliva, yeasts in oral rinse, and supragingival and subgingival plaque versus root surface and coronal caries in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a non-diabetic group were explored.
Methods: One-hundred and five patients with type 2 diabetes and 103 non-diabetic subjects were recruited; their periodontal status, plaque index and magnitude of root surface and coronal caries were assessed. Saliva and an oral rinse were cultured for mutans streptococci, lactobacilli and yeasts. Toothbrush samples of supragingival plaque and curette samples of subgingival plaque were assessed for 17 bacterial species using the checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization method.
Results: Type 2 diabetes patients had significantly more severe periodontitis, a higher plaque index and a higher prevalence and magnitude of root surface caries than non-diabetic subjects. Significantly more diabetic subjects had higher levels of Treponema denticola, Prevotella nigrescens, Streptococcus sanguinis, Streptococcus oralis and Streptococcus intermedius in their supragingival plaque than non-diabetic subjects. No significant difference was found for the organisms in saliva, oral rinse and subgingival plaque between the two groups. After adjustment for diabetic status, root surface caries was associated with an increased count of mutans streptococci, lactobacilli and yeasts in saliva and of Streptococcus mutans in supragingival plaque samples. Coronal caries was only associated with lactobacilli and yeasts in saliva.
Conclusion: The number of cariogenic organisms in saliva and oral rinse estimated by culture demonstrated a stronger association with both root surface and coronal caries compared to those 17 species assessed with the checkerboard method in supragingival and subgingival plaque.