CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Streptococcus mutans bacteria. Coloured digitised light micrograph of clusters of Streptococcus mutans bacteria. These Gram-positive, non-motile, spherical bacteria typically form chains of cells, as seen here. Streptococcus mutans is found in the mouth cavity and is a major cause of tooth decay and one of the principal bacteria causing plaque formation on teeth. It produces dextran, the adhesive glucose which makes up plaque. Within plaque, bacteria produce lactic acid from dietary carbohydrates, and it is this acid which causes demineralization of the tooth enamel and dentine. Magnification: x1,000 at 35mm size.
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