Streptococcus mutans establishment and dental caries experience in children from 2 to 4 years old

Scand J Dent Res. 1983 Dec;91(6):453-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0722.1983.tb00845.x.


39 children were studied longitudinally at the age of 2, 3, and 4 yr for the colonization of S. mutans in plaque and saliva and for caries experience. S. mutans was found in 38% of the children, and the predominant serotype group was c/e/f. A total of 16 children got caries before the age of 4. Children who harbored S. mutans in their plaque at the age of 2, appeared to be the most caries-active individuals. Their caries index values (number of decayed, missed and filled surfaces, dmfs = 10.6 +/- 5.3) at the age of 4 differed significantly from the values of children who harbored S. mutans later (dmfs = 3.4 +/- 1.8, P less than 0.005) or remained free from S. mutans infection (dmfs = 0.3 +/- 1.1, P less than 0.0003). It was thus concluded that the early establishment of S. mutans in the plaque of primary incisors indicated early and extensive caries attack in young primary dentition.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • DMF Index*
  • Dental Caries / etiology
  • Dental Caries / microbiology*
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Streptococcus mutans / cytology
  • Streptococcus mutans / isolation & purification*