Loesche, WJ, Taylor GW, Dominguez LD, Grossman NS, Stoll J. Factors which are associated with dental decay in the older individual. Gerodontology 1999; 16:37-46.
The most commonly measured bacterial parameters in the saliva are the levels of the mutans streptococci and lactobacilli which have diagnostic implications for the incidence of dental decay. Diagnostic guidelines have been developed which are applicable to children and young adults where most, if not all, teeth are present and where the rate of stimulated saliva is almost always above 0.5ml/min. Dental decay is a potential health problem of considerable magnitude among the elderly. In the elderly, missing teeth, dentures, and a reduced salivary flow, could confound the interpretation of salivary levels of cariogenic bacteria
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