Colonization by mutans streptococci in the mouths of 3- and 4-year-old Chinese children with or without enamel hypoplasia

Yihong Li, Juan M. Navia, Page W. Caufield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This case-control study compared the prevalence and concentration of mutans streptococci (MS) in saliva between children with and without enamel hypoplasia (EHP). A total of 486 3- or 4-year-old Chinese children were initially screened for EHP, then distributed into two groups: 234 children diagnosed as having EHP were assigned to the case group; 252 who were free of EHP were included in the control group. The concentration of MS in saliva was assayed for each child. Nutritional status was deduced from body height and weight. Birth weight, prematurity, and nursing history were also determined. MS were found in 94.7% of the study population. The differences in MS concentrations were not associated with low birth weight, prematurity, length of breast feeding, or body height and weight. A statistically significant association existed between the presence of EHP and high counts of MS (p < 0.001). High MS counts were correlated with severity of enamel defects (p < 0.001). When the caries status of the children was controlled as the confounding factor in statistical analyses, the association between EHP and MS decreased but still remained significant (p = 0.025). This study shows that high MS counts are correlated with EHP, suggesting that irregularities in enamel surfaces could be a contributing factor that fosters the increased colonization of MS in the mouths of children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1062
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • children
  • dental caries
  • enamel hypoplasia
  • mutans streptococci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry
  • Cell Biology


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