February 4, 2023


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Bacteria and fungi combine to “wander” and “jump” on our teeth

| health and beauty

Until now, it was believed that it was the bacteria that accumulated one by one on our teeth that caused tooth decaysays microbiologist and dentist Huyn Koo of the University of Pennsylvania. However, this is a wrong picture. Ko is a co-author Researchwhich indicates that bacteria and fungi form mutually supportive communities that “walk” and even “jump” on the teeth.

The microorganisms on the teeth feed on the same sugars we do and secrete acids that damage the enamel, causing tooth decay. However, so far we have a somewhat simplified picture of this phenomenon. We learned that colonization of surfaces by microorganisms is the necessary first step towards the emergence of a biofilm that protects microorganisms from the harmful effects of external factors.

Researchers at Penn State studied the saliva of children between the ages of 12 and 36 months with severe dental caries. Studies have revealed that such children have populations of bacteria of one species mutans streptococcus and fungi of species Candida albicans. No such clusters were found in the saliva of children with healthy teeth. But the biggest surprise was the observation that such clusters are capable of complex movements.

Bacterial cells were inside the clump, giving everything a grip. On the other hand, the larger, cane-like cells of the fungi were clustered on the outside, forming “limbs” that pushed the whole thing forward as it grew. When two of these bacterial and fungal groups met, they merged. These types of clusters grew faster and were more resistant to mechanical and chemical removal than isolated fungi or bacteria.

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The study authors now want to investigate which people are most susceptible to developing fungal battery clusters and how they can be combated.

Tooth decay fungus germ