Biological factors in dental caries

Role of remineralization and fluoride in the dynamic process of demineralization and remineralization (part 3)

John Hicks, Franklin Garcia-Godoy, Catherine Flaitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dental caries is a complex disease process that afflicts a large proportion of the world, regardless of gender, age and ethnicity, although it does tend to affect more with a low socioeconomic status to a greater extent. Remineralization may be enhanced by providing low levels of calcium and phosphate, in conjunction with minimal amounts of fluoride. It is truly remarkable the difference that a very small amount of fluoride (<1ppm) has upon demineralization and remineralization. This is because fluoride acts as a catalyst and influences reaction rates with dissolution and transformation of various calcium phosphate mineral phases within tooth structure and resident within plaque adjacent to tooth surfaces. The incorporation of minimal amounts of fluoride into HAP yields FHAP that resists demineralization to similar level as FAP. New and emerging methods have been and are in the process of being developed. These hold great promise for preventing and reversing caries, especially in the one-fifth of the population that accounts for two-thirds of the caries experience. Still, the mainstay in caries prevention and remineralization is frequent exposure to low levels of fluoride. This may be accomplished with fluoridated toothpastes, supplemented with fluoride mouthrinses, CPP-ACP containing chewing gum and application offluoride varnishes. The role of systemic fluorides appears to be limited and primarily has a topical effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Biological Factors
Dental Caries
Fluorides
Tooth
Chewing Gum
Toothpastes
Paint
Social Class
Minerals
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Dentistry(all)

Cite this

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