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Oral Bacterial Count

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:59 pm
by monanejad
I would like to do a project which requires me to assess the change in bacterial levels in the mouth before and after I use a substance. How do I do I find the bacterial levels or count in the mouth?
Thanks for your help

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:29 am
by MelissaB
There are a couple of ways. The more difficult (and dangerous) way would be to culture the bacteria from the mouth. Check with your teacher about this, because many science fairs require special permission to work with bacteria (since you can inadvertently culture some dangerous bacteria).

Another way is that there are tablets you can chew that will turn red (or some other color) when they encounter plaque on your teeth. So you could chew one, record the amount of red, administer your substance, then chew another one and record the amount of red. The main problem with this procedure is that it is difficult to measure the amount of red precisely.

Some other considerations are that bacteria levels may vary dramatically from person to person and over the course of a day, so you will want to keep this in mind when you design your experiment.