Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Second Committee Member

Brian Chrzan

Third Committee Member

Katherine Howard

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Pharr

Number of Pages



Early childhood caries is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States among children. The formation of caries is a complex, multifactorial process that is still being studied. Researchers have thought for years that Streptococcus mutans was the primary causative agent of early childhood caries. The recent discovery of a novel cariogenic pathogen, Scardovia wiggsiae and its significant contribution to the etiology of early childhood caries has led oral health researchers to re-evaluate this microorganism and its link to this disease. While there have been several projects undertaken within the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine (UNLV SDM), the majority of them have analyzed the overall prevalence in saliva amongst different categories of our clinic population.To date, no studies at UNLV SDM have sought to determine the precise location of S. wiggsiae in the oral cavity amongst those patients harboring this bacterium. The purpose of this study was to determine where in the oral cavity, if any, S. wiggiae primarily resides. This may shed light on the best prophylactic means of reducing the risk for S. wiggiae induced ECC. Sample collection during this study was performed using paper points in multiple sites within the oral cavity, evaluating both hard and soft tissues. A DNA quality and quantitative evaluation was also performed on all samples collected, to determine the efficacy of paper point sample collection in our dental clinic in hopes to pave way for this technique to be used in future studies within the UNLV SDM.


Dental; Dentistry; oral; Scardovia; Scardovia wiggsiae; Wiggsiae


Epidemiology | Microbiology | Pathology

File Format


File Size

1.2 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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