Plaque samples from carious and caries-free proximal tooth surfaces in 39 individuals (aged 15–47 years) all with a high caries experience and living in four villages in the northwestern part of Greenland were collected and studied with regard to microbial composition. From the cultured samples were determined the presence of Streptococcus mutans, and the ratios between number of aerobically and anaerobically grown microorganisms, number of S. mutans and anaerobically grown microorganisms, number of Streptococcus sanguis and anaerobically grown microorganisms, and number of microorganisms producing intracellular polysaccharide and anaerobically grown microorganisms. Gram-stained smears of each colony type were prepared from aerobically as well as anaerobically grown plate cultures. The number of each morphologically distinct type of colony was counted and related to the total number of colonies on the plate. S. mutans was present in almost 100% of the carious, as well as the caries-free areas studied. None of the ratios studied showed any microbial difference between plaque from carious and caries-free sites, Similarly, no changes were observed in the composition of the microflora when identifications were based on gram-stained colonies.

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