Hydrolytic degradation by-products associated with the constitutive monomers 2,2-bis [4-(2-hydroxy-3-methacryloxypropoxy) phenyl] propane (bis-GMA), bisphenol A polyethylene glycol diether dimethacrylate (bis-EMA), and triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEDGMA) used in dental restorative composites include bis-hydroxy-propoxyphenyl propane (bis-HPPP), ethoxylated bisphenol A (E-bisPA), methacrylic acid (MA), and triethylene glycol (TEG). These products are generated from the interaction of human salivary esterases with the composites. Recent findings have indicated that TEGDMA has the ability to modulate oral bacteria but it is unclear which components of TEGDMA are related to the observed effects. The objective of the current study was to investigate the influence of TEGDMA derived degradation products MA and TEG on the growth of three strains of oral bacteria S. mutans strains NG8 and JH1005, and S. salivarius AT2. Bacterial growth rates were measured at 37 degrees C, and pH values of 5.5 (representative of cariogenic state) or 7.0 at concentrations of 0-50mmol/l for MA (Sigma, US) and 0-100mmol/l for TEG (Sigma, US). It was found that at pH 5.5 TEG significantly stimulated the growth of both S. mutans strains ( p<0.05 ) in the concentration range of 0.5-10.0mmol/l and stimulated the growth of S. salivarius AT2 for the entire concentration range tested (p<0.05). TEG (above 50mmol/1) did not significantly affect the doubling times of S. salivarius at pH of 7.0 and it inhibited the growth of both S. mutans strains above 50mmol/l at the same pH value. At pH 5.5 MA inhibited the growth of all three strains with increasing concentration. At neutral pH, the growth of S. mutans NG8 strain was significantly reduced by MA ( p<0.05 ) above 10mmol/l. In summary, these results indicate that TEG and MA modulate the growth rate of important oral bacteria in a concentration and pH dependent manner.