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Revista de Odontologia da Universidade de São Paulo

Print version ISSN 0103-0663


TORRES, Sergio A. et al. Infection levels in pregnant women by mutans streptococci. Rev Odontol Univ São Paulo [online]. 1999, vol.13, n.3, pp.225-231. ISSN 0103-0663.

The CFU number of mutans streptococci in saliva has been used to indicate dental caries risk, as well as to assess the effectiveness or the need for preventive measures. Considering that the acquisition in early childhood of mutans streptococci is a risk factor for developing dental caries in children, and that the transmission of these bacteria is dependent of the mothers salivary levels, the oral status of 50 pregnant women aged between 16 to 37 years (mean of 22.8 years) and of low socio-economic class, that attended a public medical center in Bauru-SP- Brazil for prenatal check up was studied. The dental examination was analysed through the DMF-T and DMF-S indexes using a mirror and an explorer, without radiographs. Paraffin-stimulated saliva was collected and handled according to the instructions of the Caritest-SM manufacturer (HERPO) for researching mutans groups. Of the 50 examined women, 8 (16%) had all teeth present, 39 (78%) had lost from 1 to 10 teeth and 4 (8%) had lost from 13 to 22 teeth. The DMF-S index registered a range from 5 to 114 (mean 37.1). Mutans streptococci were detected in 48 (96%) saliva samples, 4 (8%) of which had an infection level of 1x104 CFU/mL saliva; 10 (20%), 5x104 CFU/mL; and 4 (8%), 1x105 CFU/mL. Levels of infection considered more favorable to transmission were exhibited by 30 (60%) pregnant women 10 (20%) of which showed 2,5x105 CFU/mL, 12 (24%) 5x105 CFU/mL and 8 (16%) 1x106 CFU/mL. The results indicated that there are many pregnant women harbouring high levels of mutans streptococci, prompting the need of a preventive program directed to them in order to reduce or delay the intrafamilial transmission of these microorganisms.

Keywords : Mutans streptococci; Pregnant women; Dental carie; Saliva.

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