Living reference work entry
Greek (trichos = tiny, thin hair; monas = simple organism and Latin (tenere = keep, hold fast).
Worldwide, especially in persons with reduced oral hygiene.
T. tenax occurs only as flagellated, vegetative stage in the oral cavity of humans reaching a length of 5–16 μm. This stage possesses four free flagella at the anterior pole and a lateral recurrent one (Fig. 1). Reproduction occurs by repeated longitudinal binary fission. They feed on bacteria, which they ingest by phagocytosis. However, they ingest also masses of glycogen from food remnants in the teeth. Mass reproduction occurs in cases, when the oral microflora has increased due to low oral hygiene. Intestinal passage is apparently not survivable for these specimens.
KeywordsDrinking Water Oral Cavity Microscopical Investigation Oral Hygiene Vegetative Stage
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