Using imprint cultures and epithelial smears, the density and prevalence of colonization of oral mucosal sites and denture surfaces by Candida albicans has been determined in 28 healthy dentate subjects and 20 denture wearers. With questionnaire, oral and denture examination, the relationship between the carrier rates and several factors; DMFT, oral hygiene index, salivary pH & denture plaque score were studied. But these factors have not significant relationship to the carrier rates. Imprint culture appears to be sensitive technique for detecting candidal carriers and be useful for distinguishing between the healthy carrier state and candidal infection. Cigarette smokers had a significantly increased carrier state (P<0.05) compared with nonsmoker in male dentate subjects. Female were more frequent carriers than male in dentate and denture group, but these differences were not significant. In denture wearers, there was a higher density and frequency of candidal colonization of all mucosal sites sampled, compared with that of healthy dentate group especially anterior palate and posterior palate showed highly significant differences in frequency of candidal colonization (P<0.05). The distribution of Candida albicans is not uniform throughout the mouth. The tongue in the healthy dentate subjects and the impression surfaces of upper dentures are the primary oral reservoirs for the fungus. Overnight wearing of dentures was associated with increased density and frequency of candidal colonization and density.
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