Streptococcus mutans is a nonmotile
bacteria that is most concentrated in the crevices, pits, and
fissures which are a normal part of human teeth. S.
mutans has adapted well to it's environment. This bacteria
utilizes sucrose to produce a sticky polysaccharide that permits
them to cohere to one another forming plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria
which covers teeth. The sucrose used to produce the sticky
polysaccharide is obtained from food particles left in the human
mouth after a meal. S. mutans releases acids when these
food particles are present. The combination of plaque and this
acid leads to the break down of tooth enamel*. Repeated such
attacks can cause the enamel to break down, thus resulting in dental
decay or a dental cavity.
There is a layer of
Food + Bacteria = Acid
The acid produced from
After repeated attacks by
plaque on teeth which
the food and bacteria
this acid, the tooth enamel
consists of bacteria.
attacks tooth enamel.
breaks down resulting in
Tooth enamel is the outer layer of the tooth. It is a thin,
hard, translucent layer of calcified material that encompasses and
shields the dentin. Dentin is the main portion of tooth structure.
Enamel is the hardest and most mineralized substance of the human
Questions or Comments?