The essential role of microorganisms in the aetiology of caries was established by Miller in 1890. In recent years, Streptococcus mutans has been identified as the main microorganism responsible for dental caries. Other microorganisms participate, including Lactobacillus, Actinomyces and other types of Streptococcus, but their role is less important.
- Intake of foods with a high sugar content and carbonated beverages (soft-drinks whose acids can harm teeth).
- Improper oral hygiene techniques, such as a lack of toothbrushing, use of inadequate toothpaste or not using dental floss. It is also wise to note that some teeth, due to their special morphology or position, may retain more or less oral biofilm. Posterior teeth (molars and premolars) are more prone to the onset of caries, and therefore need to be more carefully brushed.
- Reduction of pH in saliva affects the onset of caries.
- A diet with high levels of fermentable carbohydrates.
- Long periods between meals and brushing. The longer the period, the more likely it is that bacteria will attack and that acids will affect teeth.
- Inherited genetic susceptibility. Some people are more prone to caries.
- Sleeping with a bottle (in the case of younger children), because the nipple remains in contact with the palatal surfaces of the maxillary anterior teeth for more than 8 hours. Bottles and glasses with suction nozzle may also be a cause.
- Some drugs alter oral biofilm composition and pH of the mouth, such that those who take them are more susceptible to getting caries. In addition, sugar is the main component of antacid tablets, syrups and cough drops, products often taken by children. Sweetened medications can be particularly problematic for those with chronic illnesses and who follow long-term therapies.
- Other factors that influence caries formation are age, overall health, fluoride, proper instruction, socioeconomic level and a history of caries.
DIAGNOSIS (Common Diagnostic Methods)
- History and nature of pain: these are related to the circumstances of its occurrence, such as the duration and type of sensation felt by the patient.
- Reaction to temperature changes: done in the dental office by placing a cold or very hot object on teeth.
- Reaction to electrical stimulation: Performed with a low voltage direct current. This test assesses the degree of excitability of the nerves of the inflamed pulp.
- Reaction to the percussion of the tooth: a positive reaction to percussion indicates that there is apical periodontal tissue inflammation (supporting tissue around the root end of a particular tooth).
- Radiographic Exploration: used to determine the extent of the carious lesion and to determine whether the inflammatory response has reached the periapical tissue.
- Visual Exploration: used to determine the location and extent of the lesions.
- Probing surrounding area: If probing the periapical area causes pain, this means that the inflammation has reached the tissue surrounding the tooth apex.
- Professional-use topical fluorides:
- Fluoride for use at home:
- Chlorhexidine: proven effective in reducing the appearance of carious lesions in high risk patients..
- Pit and Fissure Sealants: preventive measures for both adults and children
- Xylitol: Xilitol is a powerful non-caloric natural sweetener that is not consumable by cariogenic bacteria, because of its chemical structure with five carbons that cannot be recognised by Streptococcus mutans. It can reduce the rate of plaque formation, increase saliva flow and stimulate remineralisation.
THE SOLUTION DENTAID
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