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Use of novel culture media to indicate alkaligenic properties of dental plaque

Smith, Charlotte A. and Venning, Michael and Verran, Joanna (2004) Use of novel culture media to indicate alkaligenic properties of dental plaque. Microbial ecology in health and disease, 16 (1). pp. 44-50. ISSN 0891-060X

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Abstract

An increase in plaque acidogenicity predisposes an individual to caries; however, caries susceptibility might also relate to a low or reduced ability to produce alkali. The aim of this study was to evaluate microbiological culture media developed in our laboratories, indicating the alkali-producing ability of plaque microorganisms. Test subjects were a group of renal failure patients (n=12) with high salivary urea levels, a control healthy population (n=14) and a small caries-free group (n=3). Solid indicator media revealed that plaque from renal patients had a higher proportion of alkaligenic microorganisms than plaque from the other test populations (p<0.05). The same samples were also more alkaligenic in urea broth (p<0.005). Neither liquid nor solid media indicative of plaque acidogenicity demonstrated significant differences between groups (p>0.05). The ability of the alkaligenic media developed in this study to reflect the known properties of the test population support its use as a simple indicator of plaque alkaligenicity, and potentially caries susceptibility, for example, when monitoring the effect of dietary alterations on plaque properties.

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