Streptococcus mutans is a bacteria that is involved in the human body’s normal flora. S.mutans can be found in the oral cavity and now researchers are finding the bacteria in the heart valves. The bacteria prefers temperatures of the human body but needs an acidic place to live. Making S. mutans and interesting bacteria to study. Streptococcus mutans is a gram positive cocci shaped bacteria. It is a facultative anaerobes. Streptococcus mutans is found in the oral cavity and now can be found in the heart tissue and valves. Considering the fact that Streptococcus mutans is a facultative anaerobe the bacteria is often found in between your teeth, around your gum line, and on your occlusal surfaces. Streptococcus mutans lives in temperatures that range from eighteen to forty degrees celsius falling into the mesophile category. Streptococcus mutans changes the environment by adhering to a bio-film layer produced on the enamel surface of your teeth from such things including: acidic foods that contain sugars and starch, drinks that contain carbonation and sugars, whiting products, tobacco use, and lack of oral home care. The first virulence factor is dependent on the synthesis of water-soluble glycans from the disaccharide sucrose. By breaking down the glycogen this allows help for bacteria adhere better. Next virulence factor, Streptococcus mutans has the ability to become more acid tolerant and cell to cell communication. Once the bacteria is colonized in the bio-film it starts to produce an acidic environment below a ph of 7.(Kreth, et al., 2008) By doing so, Streptococcus mutans out competes any other organism living on the teeth or in the oral cavity. This leads to the third factor, which displays a production of lactic acid fro...
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