Role of the Oral Microflora in Health

Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 07/2009; 12(3):130-137. DOI: 10.1080/089106000750051800

ABSTRACT The mouth contains both distinct mucosal (lips, cheek, tongue, palate) and, uniquely, non-shedding surfaces (teeth) for microbial colonisation. Each surface harbours a diverse but characteristic microflora, the composition and metabolism of which is dictated by the biological properties of each site. The resident oral microflora develops in an orderly manner via waves of microbial succession (both autogenic and allogenic). Pioneer species (many of which are sIgA protease-producing streptococci) colonise saliva-coated surfaces through specific stereo-chemical, adhesin-receptor interactions. The metabolism of these organisms modifies local environmental conditions, facilitating subsequent attachment and growth by later, and more fastidious, colonisers. Eventually, a stable biofilm community develops, that plays an active role in (a) the normal development of the physiology of the habitat, and (b) the innate host defences (colonisation resistance). Thus, when considering treatment options, clinicians should be aware of the need to maintain the beneficial properties of the resident oral microflora.

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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To assess the number of Streptococcus mutans in saliva of patients with denture stomatitis before and after antifungal therapy. METHODS: After examining 93 patients, 47 were selected for fungal test. Then, from this sample, thirty patients were selected: 15 with positive and 15 with negative diagnosis for candidiasis that were evaluated for S. mutans counting, salivary flow and buffer capacity evaluation. Oral hygiene and prosthesis hygiene, period using prosthesis, lesion type and salivary data were related with clinical laboratorial characteristics of the patients with Candida. RESULTS: The most frequent lesions were type I (43.5%) and II (53.5%). The amount of S. mutans was six times higher in patients with candidiasis and it was associated with low salivary flow and poor oral hygiene. After therapy, a reduction of S. mutans was verified particularly in patients with normal salivary flow. The values ranged from 0.01 to 3.88 x 104 cfu/mL. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that Streptococcus spp collaborates with Candida spp in the etiology and pathogenesis of denture stomatitis. The use of oral antimicrobial agents may provide a beneficial effect for denture stomatitis patients that are under antifungal therapy and that have poor oral hygiene and unfavorable salivary parameters.
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