Scanning Microscopy


In human supra- and subgingival calculus, bacillus-shaped deposits showing various rocky-pile forms composed of hexahedrally based crystals were observed by scanning electron microscopy. The crystal size measured approximately 0.1 - 1.5 μm. The electron probe microanalysis always detected calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Their molar ratios resembled those of magnesium-containing whitlockite and moreover the crystals also gave the electron diffraction pattern of whitlockite. The bacillus-shaped deposits happened to coexist with the intracellular calcifying microorganisms, furthermore, oral microorganisms partially replaced by the hexahedrally based crystals were found. The crystal deposits were never seen in the surface layers of calculus exposed to the oral cavity, but occurred in the innermost layers and intra-spaces of supragingival and ledge-type subgingival calculus and in the outer layers of deep subgingival calculus.

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