Degree Name

MSAH (Master of Science in Allied Health)


Allied Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Ester Verhovsek

Committee Members

Randy L. Byington, Deborah L. Dotson


Documentation exists that mothers can pass the cariogenic bacteria Streptococcus mutans to their infants. The newest technology to identify Streptococcus mutans is a rapid detection saliva test. Two hundred patients above the age of 18 were targeted using random selection in a Louisville, Kentucky dental office. Patients signed an informed consent form and were given a qualifying questionnaire. Patients received 2 bitewing x-rays and a charted DMFT index and were administered the saliva test. While the null hypothesis was rejected using the chi square test, the results were inconclusive due to expected values. However, other chi square results revealed that the test worked or had the potential to work. Furthermore, it was concluded that the test had high specificity. Further research is warranted; however, the saliva test in combination with the DMFT and x-rays are instrumental tools for the dental professional in educating patients and prevention.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Diagnosis Commons