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Bacterial Adherence in the Mouth

Johannes van Houte
Reviews of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 5, Supplement 4. Bacterial Virulence and Pathogenicity (Sep. - Oct., 1983), pp. S659-S669
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4453200
Page Count: 11
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Bacterial Adherence in the Mouth
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Abstract

Studies of the adherence of bacteria indigenous to the human mouth have contributed greatly to our understanding of oral bacterial ecology. Bacterial adhesion to teeth and oral epithelial surfaces seems to be indispensable for the formation of dental plaque and for the persistent colonization of mucosal surfaces. The strength of adhesion to various oral surfaces differs widely among oral bacteria and is a major reason for their different intraoral localization. Considerable evidence suggests that the adhesion of different bacteria to the acquired pellicle on teeth or to mucosal surfaces as well as the adhesive processes involved in plaque accumulation entail different, specific interactions that are mediated by receptors on the bacterial cell surface, on the oral surfaces, and on plaque matrix components. Some of these interactions may involve lectin-like binding. Knowledge of the mechanisms by which suspected odontopathogens such as Streptococcus mutans and certain Actinomyces species may adhere to oral surfaces has been discussed. Successful methods for interfering with bacterial adhesion to human oral surfaces have not been developed yet.

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