Cavities occur because dental plaque, a biofilm (Lackie, 2010), primarily made of Streptococcus mutans, produces acids from foods containing starches and sugars. These acids cause tooth decay, and if the acids are frequently present on the teeth, mineral loss on the tooth enamel can result, which is detrimental (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research [NIDCR], 2013). According to the CDC, cavities occur four times more frequently than asthma does in teens ages 14 to 17 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016). In addition, almost 93 percent of seniors age 75 and older had dental caries, or cavities from 1999 to 2004 (Dye, 2007).
Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria primarily responsible for cavities. These…show more content… Serratia marcescens also causes ailments such as urinary tract infections, infections plaguing the eyes and lungs, and infections in the bloodstream in a variety of organisms, including humans, insects, plants, and animals (Ray, Shenoy, Orihuela, & González‑Juarbe, 2017). Like Streptococcus mutans, it causes infective endocarditis (Hejazi & Falkiner, 1997), an infection of the inner linings of the heart’s chambers (American Heart Association, 2017). Serratia marcescens is described as being nosocomial, meaning it arises in hospital settings, and it is well-known for causing infections in hospitals; it also thrives in conditions containing starch, including food (Hejazi & Falkiner, 1997). Additionally, this bacterium can thrive in harsh conditions and resists normal aseptic measures, making it a challenge to combat (Barbosa, Irino, Carbonell, & Mayer, 2006).
The antimicrobials used in this experiment include curcumin and clove. In this experiment, I investigated the antiseptic uses of curcumin, but it also has a variety of other uses in the areas of cooking and cosmetics (Nawaz et al., 2011). Song, Choi, Jin, Yoon, & Choi (2012) found that curcumin inhibited the adhesion of Streptococcus mutans to the surface of the human tooth, specifically the root. Research