Gentle Dental Cosmetic Dentist Salisbury. Whitening, Veneers      

cosmetic dentist salisbury

creating beautiful smiles with teeth whitening, veneers, crowns and other state of the art treatments.

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New research shows that a bacterial infection may be the cause of tooth decay and cavity development.  Cavities are the demineralised areas, or the holes, that form in teeth as a result of a bacterial infection called dental caries.  Cavities are caused by a bacterial infection and this infection takes place when the normal healthy bacteria in the mouth are replaced by acid-producing bacteria.  This shift in bacteria is primarily caused by two things:

  • Prolonged acidic oral environment: caused by a lack of saliva or a sugary/acidic diet that favors acid-producing bacteria.
  • Transmission - this infection is contagious!  You can be infected by someone through exchange of saliva.

Drilling and filling has been the traditional method of treating cavities, but it doesn’t treat the infection, just the symptoms.  Brushing and flossing has been the traditional method of prevention, but it does not change the pH (acidity) of the mouth or treat the infection once it exists.
The caries infection is a complex “biofilm” infection.  There are currently 23 identified strains of bacteria and even some strains of yeast that all have the ability to metabolize and ferment the carbohydrates and sugars that we ingest and produce lactic, acetic, and formic acids as a waste product.  These acids are responsible for eating away at the hard coating of the tooth, enamel, and causing demineralization and eventual cavitation (holes), within the enamel.  Recent research on this process offers new avenues for prevention and treatment. 

Some of the challenges involved with treating the caries infection arise because so many bacteria are involved.   Most infections we deal with are pathogen-specific, meaning there is one specific virus, bacteria, fungus, etc. that causes the infection.  These diseases are, for the most part, easy to diagnose and treat, and respond well to antibiotics or can be prevented with vaccination.  Examples might be strep throat, measles, ring worm, etc.  But biofilm infections have many pathogens present and the structure of the biofilm community can be very protective and tough to penetrate.  So, treating the infection not only involves agents able to dissolve the biofilm in order to access the bacteria, but also using treatment that is able to affect the whole range of bacteria present. 

The other research emerging in treating this infection is with regard to pH (acid levels).  The bacteria that live in the mouth, good and bad, survive in very specific pH ranges.  The acid-producing types thrive at acidic levels, and die in an alkaline environment, while the healthy bacteria thrive in a neutral to slightly alkaline environment and die at acidic levels.  So, another way we can work to reverse the infection is by using alkaline solutions to neutralize the oral pH.

The Carifree free system embraces the new research by testing for and treating the bacterial infection.  Instead of treating symptoms by filling cavities, Carifree employs advanced science to promote strong, healthy teeth and to protect you long term dental health. The 1 minute test determines the level of decay-causing bacteria which indicates whether you have a low or high risk of developing cavities.

The rinses contain ingredients which dissolve the biofilm and at the same time encourage an alkaline environment in the mouth.  The program consists of using a series of carefree antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce the acidic bacterial levels on your teeth.  These are backed up with toothpaste, mouthsprays and antibacterial chewing gum.

To find out more please contact Dr Rob Jukes at Gentle Dental in Salisbury.

    © Gentle Dental 2008             Dr Rob Jukes B.D.S. ( Birm), Castle Mews, 29 Castle Street, Salisbury SP1 1YY