Streptococcus mutans biofilm changes surface-topography of resin composites

Nurit Beyth, Ran Bahir, Shlomo Matalon, Abraham J. Domb, Ervin I. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Objectives: Polymerized resin composites and nonpolymerized monomers are reported to accelerate bacterial growth. Furthermore, in vivo, resin composite restorations accumulate more plaque than other restorative materials. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that bacteria-composite surface interaction causes changes in surface-topography. Methods: Resin composite disks were polymerized between two glass slides. Streptococcus mutans cells were brought in contact with and grown on the disks for 1 day, 1 week or 1 month. The disks were analyzed using atomic force microscopy. One-month-aged composite specimens were assayed for changes in micro-hardness and bacterial outgrowth. Results: Atomic force microscopy analysis revealed a time-dependent increase in root mean square (RMS) roughness (p < 0.0001). S. mutans outgrowth was accelerated following direct contact with the surface of aged composites, with no changes in micro-hardness. Significance: Our results show that S. mutans growth on resin composite increases surface roughness without affecting micro-hardness. The change in surface integrity may further accelerate biofilm accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-736
Number of pages5
JournalDental Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilm
  • Resin composites
  • Streptococcus mutans
  • Surface-topography


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