Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Dent Assoc. 2000 Jul;131(7):887-99.

The science and practice of caries prevention.

Author information

  • 1Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA. jdbf@itsa.ucsf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW:

Dental caries is a bacterially based disease. When it progresses, acid produced by bacterial action on dietary fermentable carbohydrates diffuses into the tooth and dissolves the carbonated hydroxyapatite mineral--a process called demineralization. Pathological factors including acidogenic bacteria (mutans streptococci and lactobacilli), salivary dysfunction, and dietary carbohydrates are related to caries progression. Protective factors--which include salivary calcium, phosphate and proteins, salivary flow, fluoride in saliva, and antibacterial components or agents--can balance, prevent or reverse dental caries.

CONCLUSIONS:

Caries progression or reversal is determined by the balance between protective and pathological factors. Fluoride, the key agent in battling caries, works primarily via topical mechanisms: inhibition of demineralization, enhancement of remineralization and inhibition of bacterial enzymes.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Fluoride in drinking water and in fluoride-containing products reduces caries via these topical mechanisms. Antibacterial therapy must be used to combat a high bacterial challenge. For practical caries management and prevention or reversal of dental caries, the sum of the preventive factors must outweigh the pathological factors.

Comment in

PMID:
10916327
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk