A microbiological study of dental calculus. I. the microbial flora of mature calculus

Sidaway, D.A.

Journal of Periodontal Research 13(4): 349-359


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-3484
PMID: 149854
DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0765.1978.tb00189.x
Accession: 068522328

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The flora of 16 supragingival and 11 subgingival calculus samples from 20 patients was studied using both selective and non-selective media incubated aerobically and anaerobically; 767 representative isolates, from a total of 1320 were characterized and 653 assigned to genera or species. Gram-positive organisms present in < 50% of all samples were Streptococcus sanguis (96%), S. mitior (93%), Actinomyces naeslundii (78%), A. israelii (72%), Rothia dentocariosa and Bacterionema matruchotii (70%) and Actinomyces viscosus (67%). The most prevalent gram-negative species were Neisseria pharyngis (89%), Selenomonas (80%), Fusobacterium nucleatum (78%), Bacteroides melaninogenicus and Leptotrichia buccalis (70%), Campylobacter (60%), Veillonella alcalescens and an unidentified gram-negative rod (59%) and Eikenella corrodens (56%). The calculus flora was more complex than histological studies previously suggested, with up to 22 species found in a single sample. There was qualitative similarity with the flora of dental plaque formed at the margin of the gingivae, the chief difference being the absence of S. mutans and the increased prevalence of S. sanguis serotype I/II. A. naeslundii, A. viscosus and V. alcalescens were more prevalent in subgingival samples and N. pharyngis, B. melaninogenicus in supragingival. In view of the small number of samples examined these differences may not be highly significant.