DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Bacteria on an epithelial cells from the human tongue filiform papillae. Coccoid bacteria are seen on the epithelial surface (left corner). The coccoid bacteria are likely Streptococcus mutans due to the fibrous glucan matrix that is seen surrounding the cells. Most bacteria on the human tongue are harmless or even beneficial. However some bacteria can cause throat infections and form plaque deposits on teeth. Plaque will also lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Magnification: x1,400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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