The Influence of Denture-wearing and Age on the Oral Microflora

Phillip Marsh, R. S. Percival, S. J. Challacombe

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    92 Citations (Scopus)


    The effects of denture-wearing and age on the prevalence of selected bacteria of dental significance and on the carriage of opportunistic pathogens in molar plaque and whole saliva were determined in 120 healthy subjects, 41 of whom wore partial dentures. The subjects were divided into four age groups: 20-39 years (group A), 40-59 years (group B), 60-79 years (group C), and ≥ 80 years (group D). The proportions, mean loglo viable counts, and isolation frequency of yeasts and lactobacilli in saliva and plaque were consistently higher in partial-denture wearers. The proportions of staphylococci and mutans streptococci were also raised in denture wearers, but these differences did not reach statistical significance. When the data were analyzed for age effects, both yeasts and lactobacilli were found to be increased in saliva with age, but statistically significant differences were generally found only between denture wearers in group D and subjects in the control group A. The isolation frequency of yeasts from plaque was also significantly higher in denture wearers of the oldest age group (D) compared with those in group A. A. viscosus predominated over A naeslundii in the older age groups, regardless of the presence of dentures. Enterobacteria were isolated occasionally but only from the saliva of denture wearers in group D. Spirochetes and black-pigmented anaerobes were generally found in lower numbers in denture wearers. Collectively, the data show that components of the oral microflora in adults can be independently influenced by both age and the wearing of partial dentures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1374-1381
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Dental Research
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1992


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