The effects of hyposalivation on the induction of dental caries and on the composition of the oral microflora were examined in specific pathogen-free Sprague-Dawley rats fed either a sucrose or a wheat flour diet with or without inoculation of Streptococcus mutans. Significant dental caries was induced in hyposalivated rats fed diet 2000 containing 56% sucrose, irrespective of infection by S. mutans. Diets containing 56% wheat flour did not induce dental caries in either hyposalivated or sham-operated rats, irrespective of infection by S. mutans. Bacteriological examinations at the end of the experiment demonstrated that the total numbers of lactobacilli and staphylococci increased in hyposalivated rats irrespective of the diet given, while the inoculated stain of S. mutans decreased significantly in hyposalivated rats. These findings suggest that some acidogenic microorganisms such as lactobacilli and staphylococci that can utilize sucrose or glucose but not wheat flour may also promote dental caries in hyposalivated rats.

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