Background: Dental caries is the most common infectious disease affecting humans and is the predominant cause of tooth loss in children. Although Candida’s role in dental caries has been studied extensively, limited homogenous studies have been conducted and none have been found, that associate Candida with dental caries, while correlating it to different age groups.
Aim: The study aimed to quantify oral Candida in school children and correlate candidal carriage to the caries index and further analyze an age association. Subjects and Methods: Decayed‑Filled teeth/Decayed‑Missing‑Filled Teeth (dft/DMFT) index scores of 150 subjects were evaluated, and concentrated oral rinse samples were collected from each participant for mycologic investigation. Based on the age and caries activity, the participants were categorized into three groups consisting of 50 each such as Group‑I (caries active participants of 6–12 years age), Group‑II (caries active participants in 13–18 years age), and Group‑III (caries‑free participants in 6–18 years age); CHROMagar™ was used as a primary culture medium for candidal growth. The data was statistically analyzed using Unpaired t‑test, Chi‑square test and Spearman’s rank order.
Results: The results demonstrated that as age increases, the dft/DMFT scores as well as the candidal growth decreased. In addition, the oral candidal carriage levels were found to be low in caries‑free group (Group‑III) when compared to the study groups. Conclusion: The presence of Candida was directly related to the caries status and inversely proportional to the age.