Objectives: This study aimed at identifying and quantifying Actinomyces naeslundii, Bifidobacterium spp., Streptococcus mitis group, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei group, Streptococcus gordonii, and Streptococcus mutans in active and inactive carious dentine lesions of children with early childhood caries by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
Material and methods: Fifty-six dentin lesion samples, classified as active (n = 39) or inactive (n = 17), were collected from children aged from 2 to 5 years old. Dentinal-cavitated lesions were evaluated by Nyvad criteria for the assessment of caries lesion activity.
Results: Relative quantification revealed that Bifidobacterium spp. and the L. casei group were significantly more abundant in active dentin lesions (p < 0.05). Concentrations of A. naeslundii, S. mitis group, and S. gordonii were not significantly different when comparing dentin lesion activity. The relative proportion of S. mutans was significantly greater in inactive than in active lesions (p < 0.05). Bifidobacterium spp. and L. casei group demonstrated a positive correlation (p = 0.001) in active lesions. The positive detection of L. acidophilus (odds ratio = 15.1) and S. gordonii (odds ratio = 7.7) was significantly associated to the active lesions.
Conclusions: The data indicate that higher detection levels of Bifidobacterium spp. and the L. casei group may be linked to dentin lesion activity. Additionally, the presence of L. acidophilus and S. gordonii was associated with lesion activity.
Clinical relevance: Considering that information about the oral microbiota related to dentin caries activity status is relevant, this study provides insights to better understand the differences in the microbiotas between active and arrested dentin cavities.
Keywords: Bacteria; Child; Dentin caries; Early childhood caries; Quantitative polymerase chain reaction.