Strategies for preventing and treating decay

Dental caries is a saliva- and sugar-modified bacterial disease. The decay process represents the interaction of many factors over time:

  • salivary factors: flow, pH (acidity) , fluoride intake levels. Reduced salivary flow rates result in reduced salivary pH (more acidic) and buffer capacity (ability to negate acids in the mouth)
  • tooth factors: location, fluoride levels, developmental issues
  • plaque factors: amount and composition of plaque
  • dietary factors: the form and frequency of sugar and acid intake – particularly a high intake of acidic foods & drinks which shifts the environment to suit bad bacteria!
  • oral hygiene: frequency and efficacy and use of fluoride toothpaste


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