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Acta Odontológica Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 1852-4834


GAMBOA, Fredy et al. Presence and count of S. mutans in children with dental caries: before, during and after a process of oral health education. Acta odontol. latinoam. [online]. 2018, vol.31, n.3, pp.156-163. ISSN 1852-4834.

Dental caries is an infectious, multifactorial, localized, transmissible process that leads to the destruction of hard dental tissue. Streptococcus mutans is considered to be the main microorganism associated with its development. The aim of this study was to determine presence and count of S. mutans in saliva samples from children with dental caries before and after an educational process including interviews, lessons, lectures, educational workshops and recreational activities on the importance of oral care and hygiene. Twenty-three 3- to 6-year-old schoolchildren provided 3 unstimulated saliva samples: one before the educational process, one at 3 months and one at 6 months into the educational process. The samples were serially diluted and plated on Mitis Salivarius agar supplemented with bacitracin and 20% sucrose, and incubated anaerobically for 2 days at 37º C. Presumptive S. mutans isolates were identified with biochemical tests. Before the beginning of the educational process, and at 3 and 6 months into the educational process, S. mutans was found, respectively, in 22 (95.6%), 15 (65.2%) and 10 (43.5%) of the 23 children. The S. mutans count was reduced by 64.8% and 86.6% at 3 and 6 months, respectively, compared to the levels found before the educational process. These results indicate that educational intervention produced a significant reduction in S. mutans levels in the saliva of children with dental caries at 3 and 6 months into the educational process.

Keywords : Dental caries; Children; Streptococcus Mutans; Health education.

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