Globally, the importance of oral hygiene is a preventative health care measure. The oral cavity is the home of many microbes that not only cause disease but can also facilitate health. Often the oral cavity can be an indicator of an underlying disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (6). Among the microbes of the oral cavity is one that is known to cause caries or cavities. Mutans streptococci (myo͞oˈtănz) are also commonly referred to as strep. mutans and people have these pathogens to thank if they have ever had a cavity (8).
Strep. mutans is a species from the family of Streptococcus. Streptococcus are a form of Eubacteria (1).The name Streptococci Mutans originates from a stereotype known as C, which is a group of cell associated gylcosylttranferases. These glycosylttranferases produce glucan-binding proteins. It has been said that strep mutans were first discovered by Louis Pasteur during one of his experimental procedures. Then in 1976 strep mutans were very closely looked at by a recent graduate of dental school, Jeffery Hillman. Hillman studied microbiology and the effect of bacteria such as strep mutans and their role in dentistry (7).
Strep. mutans are gram positive bacteria which mean it has a thick single cell wall and will retain a purple color when stained with a crystal dye. Almost 99% of the bacteria on earth are attached bacteria and this includes strep. mutans. These bacteria are aerobic, nonmotile bacteria, which allow them to colonize easily. The most common location for strep. mutans include fissures and pits in the oral cavity; proximal surfaces where the teeth touch, or within the gingival sulcus. These areas are common areas found within and around the teeth. What’s important to note is that strep. mutans don’t exist within the oral cavity when a person is born, rather they are acquired more often than not in childhood (8).
Strep. mutans is a bacteria that can easily be passed from one person to... [continues]
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