Study: Cavity-inducing bacteria persist despite use of caries restorative therapy

Your child brushes, flosses, and rinses with fluoride—but is it enough to prevent all cavities? According to new research at OHSU’s School of Dentistry, multiple strains of the cavity-causing bacteria may remain in the mouths of children even after undergoing six months of full-mouth caries restorative therapy.

For the study, plaque from seven children, ages 3 to 12, who visited the dentist with severe early childhood caries, was collected at three appointments: prior to oral care, at the two- to four-week post-treatment visit, and at the six-month recall visit. Prior to treatment, between 3 to 7 strains of mutans streptococci were isolated from each of the 7 patients. Six months later, this number diminished to 1 to 2 dominant strains, some with high-acid producing potential.

“The implication of this study are that well-accepted practices for sever childhood dental caries therapy should be more closely examined for efficacy,” says Curt Machinda, Ph.D., principal investigator and OHSU professor of integrative bio-sciences and pediatric dentistry.

Read the full article, or view the study online.

The study was published in the March-April 2012 issue of Pediatric Dentistry.