If someone removed all bacteria such Streptococcus mutans in her mouth by starving long time, or by some chemical method, would she never have such bacteria?

In my thought, because S.mutans only spread out through human teeth, and if there are some in the air, white blood cell might kill all from the air completely because they are very little.

Is this foolish hypothesis of mine possible?

Thanks for your answer in advance.

  • $\begingroup$ no kissing. no licking. no eating food touched by other people's mouths. (sharing an apple for instance.) seems unlikely... also total removal is hard but that's another matter. $\endgroup$
    – shigeta
    Oct 21, 2015 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


As shigeta touched on, there's no practical way to avoid cross-contamination from other humans. Assuming by magic you delete all your mouth bacteria, there are so many paths to re-inoculation you couldn't avoid it without living in extreme isolation.

A non-exhaustive list of all the ways you could get re-inoculated:

  • kissing
  • licking
  • aerosolized saliva from coughing/sneezing
  • eating food exposed to same
  • Touching something contaminated then brushing your teeth
  • Essentially putting anything another human has touched in your mouth

Other humans get saliva on things they touch and things they breathe on. You can't breathe or eat those things without cooking them. No fresh vegetables.

Your white blood cells or your immune system in general won't help, because S. mutans is already adapted to live in your saliva and there's not (to my knowledge) any adaptive immune system components active in your saliva.


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