The latest on cavities and the prevention of them

February 26, 2010

I was fortunate enough to hear Dr. John Kois, one of the world’s top dental clinicians and lecturers talk about CAMBRA.  Cambra stands for Cavity Managment by Risk Assesment and is what is being taught in dental schools around the country today.  Those of you who have seen the team at Southern California Dental health Associates now that this is an area of dentistry that I try real hard to stay on top of.  It’s not what a lot of people spend time on, but it is all about prevention.  So lets recap what Dr. Kois had to say.

Cavities are the end result of a disease process called caries.  The science behind caries has changed dramatically in the last several years.  For as long as I can remember caries was a disease caused by bacteria, well now it is called a biofilm disease.  Basically the bacteria grow and intermingle and make each other stronger and lest resistent to outside influences.  (The analogy that I like to give is an individual bacteria ona petri dish is like a ploe stuck in the sand of the Mojave desert..not hard to pull out.  The biofilm is a complex multi organism (over 4oo types of bacteria) comlex that is like putting the pole inbetween building in the middle of Manhatten. Real hard to pull the pole out.) the biofilm around teeth get to mature because enamel is the only part of the human body that does not shed. 

In a healthy situation the bacteria in a biofilm do not cause cavities.  However, the biofilm is affected by changes in pH intake (example  Sodas, gatorade, kool-aid are all acidic) as well as consumption of fermentable carbohydrates.  Today, cavities are the most chronic childhood disease in the country.  60% of all cavities are found in 20% of the population.  Cavities in kids is on the rise after years of going down and cavities on the biting surface of teeth are increasing.  Lastly, about 90% of all cavities are either on the biting surface or the surfaces of the teeth facing either the cheek or the tongue.

There is good news, xylitol is a great product that is effectively an anticaries product.  In addition the CariFREE product line has been created to help change the acidity of the biofilm to help reduce, if not eliminate, caries.  One of CariFREE’s products is a maintenamce rinse with xylitol in it.  This rinse has a pH of 8, which is important to help breakdown the biofilm.  Scope has a pH of 5.47,Listerine a pH of 4.39 and Crest ProHealth a pH of 4.22  all very acidic and will make the biofilm become stronger and help promote cavity formation.

Southern California Dental Health Associates has the CariFREE products and testing kit in order to help you reduce your chance of cavities.  If you are tired of being in the cavity cycle (I brush and floss but still get cavities) call us to get tested to see if you could benefit from the CariFREE product.  Call us at 323-934-3341.

Until the next blog..stay healthy, BRUSH and FLOSS.  Your mouth and body thanks you.