The Role of Surface Free Energy in the Early In vivo Formation of Dental Plaque on Human Enamel and Polymeric Substrata

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Weerkamp, A. H. ; Quirynen, M. ; Marechal, M. ; Van Der Mei, H. C. ; Van Steenberghe, D. ; Busscher, H. J. (2011)
  • Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
  • Journal: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (issn: 1651-2235, eissn: 1651-2235)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/mehd.v2i1.7429
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: stomatognathic diseases | stomatognathic system

Strips of teflon and cellulose acetate were glued to the upper lateral incisors of human volunteers in a split mouth, double blind study on the influence of the substratum surface free energy (s.f.e.) on supragingival dental plaque accumulation during a three day period of no oral hygiene. Plaque accumulation, microbial composition of the plaque and s.f.e. of the microorganisms were determined and compared to plaque developed on natural enamel surfaces. Significantly less microorganisms colonised the polymer surfaces (p < 0.002). Streptococcus sanguis I was the predominant microorganism found in enamel samples, comprising about one-third of the total microflora, whereas it was recovered infrequently and in lower numbers from the polymeric surfaces, which predominantly contained Streptococcus sanguis II. Only on cellulose acetate sometimes high numbers of Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus morbillorum were detected. The mean s.f.e. of the total plaque flora was lowest on teflon (84.5 mJ m-2) followed by cellulose acetate (86.0 mJ m-2), whereas enamel harboured a microflora with a significantly higher mean s.f.e. (93.0 mJ m-2; p<0.05). Also within the same bacterial species lower s.f.e. strains were isolated from the polymer surfaces compared to enamel. The results conform to a previously postulated model in which the interfacial free energy is the driving force for adhesion of microorganisms to solid surfaces.Keywords: Surface free energy; Bioadhesion; Oral microflora; Bacteria; Foreign Bodies.
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