Methylation of mercury from dental amalgam and mercuric chloride by oral streptococci in vitro

Scand J Dent Res. 1983 Apr;91(2):150-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0722.1983.tb00792.x.


The capacity of the oral bacteria Streptococcus mitior, S. mutans and S. sanguis to methylate mercury was investigated in vitro. Mercuric chloride and pulverized dental amalgam in distilled water, respectively, were used as sources of mercury. Methylmercury was found in the bacterial cells of all three tested strains. The results indicate that organic mercury compounds may be formed in the oral cavity.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Amalgam
  • Humans
  • Mercuric Chloride
  • Mercury / metabolism*
  • Methylation
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus / metabolism*


  • Mercuric Chloride
  • Dental Amalgam
  • Mercury