Quantitative and qualitative examination of anaerobically isolated flora of the gingival crevice and saliva was carried out. It was found that half the organisms were anaerobes and that there were twice as many gram-positive organisms as there were gram-negative ones. Rods were predominant in the gingival crevice (60.5%) and cocci in saliva (69.1%). Of the total organisms, nonsporing, gram-positive anaerobic rods accounted for 24% in the gingival crevice and 9.7% in saliva. These organisms were characterized on the basis of the type of fatty acids produced from glucose and various biochemical reactions. They belonged to the following genera: Actinomyces, Propionibacterium, Arachnia, Lactobacillus, Eubacterium, and Bifidobacterium. Bifidobacteria were present only in saliva. Although members of the other genera were present both in the gingival crevice and saliva, there were considerable differences in the proportion of any particular organism (in relation to the total anaerobic viable count) between the two sites. The result of this study also indicates a greater than previously appreciated level of Propionibacterium and Arachnia in the human mouth
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