Microorganisms Associated With The Oral Cavity Of Children In Primary School (A Case Study Of Umueze Community Primary School Aba)

Project and Seminar Material for Microbiology

Project and Seminar Material for Microbiology


Oral cavity of eighty (80) primary school pupils was swabbed at Umueze community Primary School, Aba local government area of Abia state in duplicates. The first swabbed were placed into nutrient broth and its duplicates were placed into MacConkey broth. They were incubated for 24hours after which that of nutrient broth was sub-cultured into nutrient agar and its duplicate in MacConkey broth was also subcultured into MacConkey agar and incubated for another 24hours.

The colonies from MacConkey agar were sub-culture into nutrient agar for pure isolates, while result showed that a total of 9 bacteria were isolated, characterized and identified. These organisms according to their frequency of occurrence were: Staphylococcus aureaus (11.1%), Escherichia coli (33.3%), Fusobacteriumspp (5.5%), Fusobacteriumnecrophorum (5.5%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (22.2%), Streptococcus gallinarum (5.5%), Streptococcus pycogenes (5.5%), Micrococcus loteus(5.5%), Staphylococcusheamolyticus. Although these micro organisms are normal flora in the oral cavity of human but can become pathogenic when the immune system is suppressed, due to malnutrition of concomitant infection (any of the childhood disease).

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background Of The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
  • 1.3 Research Questions
  • 1.4 Purpose Of The Study
  • 1.5 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.6 Limitation Of The Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Concept Of Dental Healthcare
  • 2.2 Noma And Oral Cavity
  • 2.3 Epidemiology
  • 2.4 Clinical Manifestation
  • 2.5 Risk Factors For Noma
  • 2.6 Diagnosis And Treatment
  • 2.7 Dental Caries
  • 2.8 Gum Diseases

Chapter Three

3.0 Materials And Methods

  • 3.1 Sample Collection
  • 3.2 Media Used
  • 3.3 Sample Processing
  • 3.4 Gram Staining Techniques
  • 3.5 Biochemical Characterization And Identification Of The Bacteria Isolate

Chapter Four

4.0 Results And Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.0 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Dental health care and education have a direct relationship with the whole child‟s health and well being. Studies have shown that appropriate oral health education can help to cultivate oral health practice (Ab-murat& Watt 2006). The change to healthy attitude can be influenced by giving adequate information, motivation and practice of the measures to the children (Smyth, Caamano & Femandez-Reveiro 2007). Dental health education is an accepted procedure in schools based on the assumption that the knowledge needed for good dental health practice can result inbehavioural change (Betsey, 1980).Schools therefore, have the responsibility to help protect, maintain and improve the health of their students through the school health programmes. This is why the total school health programme is composed of school health services, health education/instruction, nutrition services and healthful school living.

The aspect of school health programme that introduces dental health education is the School health instruction – a planned, sequential curriculum that addresses the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health of school children. It is designed to motivate and assist students to maintain and improve their health, prevent diseases and reduce health related risk behaviour. (Maryland School Health Services, 2006).It allows student to develop and demonstrate health related knowledge, attitude, skills and practices. The comprehensive health instructioncurriculum includes a variety of topics including dental health education where pupils are taught about oral hygiene principles and disease associated with poor dental health care. Therefore, dental health education depends largely upon the acquisition of accurate and useful knowledge concerning good dental health on the part of the students. This becomes successful when the knowledge is put into daily practice resulting in behavioural change.

In dental health as in other instructions, the compilation of facts by the learner is not enough and knowing what to do does not guarantee that it will be done (Ajala, 2005&Cooper, 2002). For example, to know that it is necessary to brush your teeth once or twice daily and actually doing it are two different things completely. In other words people may be aware of the dental ills that are associated with bad oral hygiene and yet fail to maintain it. For dental instruction to be truly successful, a change must result in attitude, habit or skill. This can be achieved by selecting learning experiences that allow the learner to perform the desired behavioural outcomes and a means to evaluate the retention of content covered and changes in behaviour of the learner.

Dental health care measures still include brushing the mouth once or twice daily. This ensures that bacteria and microbes present in the mouth are killed and removed from time to time. The use of chewing stick also helps in cleaning the teeth but not as effective because the oral cavity has a number of space that are very small and narrow where even the bristles of the brush cannot reach, hence flossing becomes an effective mechanism to ensure good dental hygiene and health as it helps to remove food particles and debris between the teeth. (Check dent, 2011). Regular visit to the dentist will also help to detect the onset of dental disease.

The aim of intervention among primary school pupils is to create awareness and increase knowledge on the importance of oral hygiene among pupils within the ages 8-12 years to promote positive behavioural change (Nguyen 2008). .

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Surveys have shown that dental disease is on the increase globally (Bagramian 2009 & WHO, 1997). This has been attributed to many factors among children in developing nations of the world including Nigeria. One important factor is lack of knowledge of dental health care. Evidence has shown that strong knowledge of oral health demonstrates better oral care practices (Smyth, et al; 2007). It has been observed that most primary school teachers do not give dental health instruction to pupils adequately hence they are not aware of various dental health problems associated with poor oral hygiene.

Generally, children are faced with health problems that can either predispose them to dental disease or complicate dental care. Nutritional disorder (vitamin C deficiency) and diabetes have also been identified as contributing factors to periodontal disease. For children with diabetes, good oral hygiene should begin at a young age (Lamster, Lalla, Borgnakke & Taylor, 2008). A lack of understanding of conditions linked with dental disease has often times hindered the process of preventing the occurrence of various dental problems among Nigerian children. Dental investigators have explained that plaque plays a definite role in the initiation and progression of dental disease. Plague is a mass of soft accumulated material, covering areas of the mouth that are not cleansed.

A lack of awareness about the link between nutrition and dental disease has also caused a lot of dental health problems like scurvy and dental caries etc. Periodontal pockets have been observed among children from as early as 10 years of age and this has been attributed to general nutritional deficiency and poor oral hygiene (Barenes 2001).
Lack of oral hygiene practices has been identified as a possible predisposing factor for occurrence of dental caries. Children generally engage in unhealthy habits that can cause dental problems like failing to brush, nibbling of sweets and consumption of sugary snacks. All these can cause acid formation which eats away the tooth enamel. The general health of children who suffer dental disease is put further at risk and because of this risk to health, their dental care is of vital importance. It is therefore paramount to instill proper oral hygiene habit early in school children in order to prevent dental ills and promote healthy teeth growth.

The researcher has personally observed tooth discoloration, dental caries and gingivitis among school children in Aba local government area and was therefore prompted to investigate the micro-organisms associated with the oral cavity of children using a case study of Umueze community Primary School, Aba local government area of Abia state.

1.3 Research Questions

The study sought to answer the following questions.

  1. What are the bacteria from the oral swabbed sample obtained from children?
  2. What is the percentage frequency of occurrence of the isolated bacteria?
  3. What is the characteristic of the bacteria associated with the mouth ulcers of children?

1.4 Purpose Of The Study

The purpose of the study was to investigate the micro-organisms associated with the oral cavity of children using a case study of Umueze community Primary School, Aba local government area of Abia state. Specifically, the study has the following objectives;

  1. To isolate and identify the bacteria from the oral swabbed sample obtained from children.
  2. To determine the percentage frequency of occurrence of the isolated bacteria.
  3. To isolate and characterize the bacteria associated with the mouth ulcers of children.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The study which assessed the micro-organisms associated with the oral cavity of children in Umueze community Primary School, Aba is significant in the following ways.

  1. The result of this study will elicit information that would educate public primary school pupils on the importance of dental health care and will also help them to cultivate healthy oral health practice thus reducing the cases of dental diseases among primary school pupils.
  2. The result of this study will provide data on the level of dental health care practice among primary school pupils and will show the behaviour of pupils regarding dental health care.
  3. The result of this study will help primary school teachers to improve on their effort in the teaching of dental health education in schools.

1.6 Limitation Of The Study

The limitation of this study was the inability of some pupils in the lower classes to easily adapt to the collection and swapping process. However, the researcher and the school teachers (research assistants) helped in overcoming this challenge by obtaining consent and aiding in the collection process.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

This work has proven that oral cavity disease is caused as a result of microbial action. The bacteria isolated from this study are Streptococcusaureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus gallinarium, Streptococcus haemolytical, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Micrococcus loteus, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Fusobacteriumnecrophorum, Fusobacteriumspp,where Escherichia coli has the highest percentage frequency of occurrence while Fusobacteriumspp, Fusobacteriumnecrophorum, Micrococcus loteus, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Streptococcus pyogens and Streptococcus gallinarumhas the lowest percentage frequency of occurrence.Some of these isolated organism exists as noma flora but revert to virulence at low immunity, causing a deforming scars on the face, neck and trunk of the children.

5.2 Recommendation

Based on the findings of this study, it is therefore recommended that;

  1. Creating national and public awareness and help in preventing oral cavity disease in rural areas.
  2. Poverty eradication by raising the standard of living to a level that guarantees children high level of immunity in rural areas.
  3. Primary health care center should encourage mothers on exclusive breastfeeding in the first 3-6 months of baby life.
  4. This is the reason why it is of utmost importance to educate the rural populace on the importance of nutrition.

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