Video: The Environment
Hello and welcome to dentalcare.com's cariology course. Today's section is called The Environment. This is part four of a 10 part series entitled Caries Process and Prevention Strategies. It has been established that the oral environment is one of the primary factors in the caries process. Only when acidity increases in the oral environment does demineralization of enamel and, subsequently, caries occur. In this section the role of fermentable carbohydrates is discussed, paying particular attention into how caries can be influenced by the cariogenic potential of ingested sugars and starches, the physical traits of ingested carbohydrates, such as their adhesiveness, and the frequency of intake and exposure to sugars. The Stephan curve, which illustrates the dental pH changes over time in response to a carbohydrate challenge, is also introduced with a discussion of how factors such as the type of carbohydrate, the buffering capacity of saliva, and the type and quantity of bacteria present in plaque effect the dental pH responses.
First, we wanted to go over a couple of clinical significant snapshots, questions that you may come across in your practice. The first, which environmental factors can easily be modified to aid in the prevention of dental caries? Well, if a patient or other family member have signs of caries it's critically important to look for environmental factors that may be contributing to increased risk of developing the disease. While modifying environmental factors is always a challenge, success is more likely if the family's unit environment is investigated as well as that of the specific at risk individual family member. Changing the environmental factors of only one family member is unlikely to succeed.