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26644A

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Image #   26644A
Name:   Oral bacterium - Streptococcus mutans
Copyright:   Copyright 2006 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Description:   Caption: Oral bacterium - Streptococcus mutans. S. mutans is a coccoid shaped, Gram-positive, facultative anaerobic bacteria that is part of the normal bacteria flora of the mouth. It can thrive in temperatures ranging from 18-40 degrees Celsius. It metabolizes sucrose to lactic acid and is a leading cause of tooth enamel decay. The acidic environment created in the mouth by this process is what causes the highly mineralized tooth enamel to decay. S. mutans is one of a few specialized organisms equipped with receptors for adhesion to the surface of teeth. Sucrose is utilized by S. mutans to produce a sticky, extracellular, dextran-based polysaccharide (glucan) that allows them to adhere to each other forming plaque. Other sugars (glucose, fructose, lactose) can be digested by S. mutans to produce lactic acid. It is the combination of plaque and acid that leads to dental decay.
Magnification*: x4,400
Type: SEM
    *(Magnifications are based on a 35mm slide image of 24mm in the narrow dimension.)
Keywords:   07.01.06 acid environment acidic environment adhesion receptors anaerobic bacteria bacterial flora bacterial pathogen bacterium cocci coccoid coccus dividing dental decay dental plaque dextran division enamel gamma streptococci gamma streptococcus gingivitis glucan Gram-positive Gram bacteria gram positive gum disease human disease human flora human infection human microbiota human pathogen lactic acid minearlized tooth mouth mouth abscess mouth bacteria oral bacteria oral bacterium oral flora oral lesion oral microbiota oral pathogen peridontal disease periodontal infection polysaccharide prokaryote SEM septicemia streptococci oropharynx Streptococcus mutans Streptococcus sobrinus bacteria flora sucrose metabolism throat tooth decay tooth enamel tooth plaque ulcerative gingivitis periodontal lesion 26644A biofilm

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