Eddie Chang


Previous research has investigated the post-operative bacteria levels caused by a variety of clinical procedures such as anesthetic injections, standard dental procedures, endodontic treatment, periodontal surgery, root scaling, and oral surgical procedures in children. Other studies have suggested that bacteremias are often caused by oral infections. Although numerous studies have examined how oral infections lead to various medical conditions (i.e. brain abscess) none have studied the potential for preoperative bacteremia that may arise in conjunction with early childhood caries (ECC). The purpose of this study was to compare potential systemic facultative and anaerobic bacteria found in otherwise healthy children who had type III early childhood caries to children who were caries free.


Twenty patients diagnosed with severe ECC and presenting for a complete oral-dental rehabilitation at Loma Linda University Surgery Center for Dentistry were selected as subjects for this study. After obtaining informed consent from each patient, 5ml of blood was drawn from the patient immediately after the intravenous line had been initiated. The blood was analyzed for bacteria levels by clinical laboratory using an automated Bactec® blood culturing system. The results were to be compared with a control group that was composed of healthy patients and did not have ECC, however, due to ethical issues raised by the Universities Institutional Review Board a control group was not included in this study. Instead, data from the literature similar to the control group was used. This is discussed in detail in the methods and materials of the thesis.


One subject (5%) was identified as having Staphylococcus saprophyticus. No bacteremias were cultured from the remaining nineteen subjects. Thus 95% of the experimental group demonstrated no bacteremia.


Nineteen out of twenty children in the experimental group (95%) showed no evidence of preoperative bacteremia. One out of twenty children in the experimental group (5%) showed a bacteremia identified as Staphylococcus saprophyticus, a common skin contaminant. There was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control group. Further research is indicated on children being treated for ECC to determine the specific procedures that initiate bacteremia.

LLU Discipline

Pediatric Dentistry


Pediatric Dentistry


Graduate School

First Advisor

John Peterson

Second Advisor

James Kettering

Third Advisor

Jay Kim

Fourth Advisor

John Leyman

Fifth Advisor

Melba Mayes

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Dental Caries -- in infancy & childhood; Bacteremia -- etiology; Dental Caries -- microbiology



Page Count

viii; 27

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives