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To prevent tooth decay, prophylactic treatment and good hygiene are important. Regular tooth brushing and flossing physically removes microbes and combats microbial growth and biofilm formation. Toothpaste contains fluoride , which becomes incorporated into the hydroxyapatite of tooth enamel , protecting it against acidity caused by fermentation of mouth microbiota. Fluoride is also bacteriostatic, thus slowing enamel degradation. Antiseptic mouthwashes commonly contain plant-derived phenolics like thymol and eucalyptol and/or heavy metals like zinc chloride (see Using Chemicals to Control Microorganisms ). Phenolics tend to be stable and persistent on surfaces, and they act through denaturing proteins and disrupting membranes.

Regular dental cleanings allow for the detection of decay at early stages and the removal of tartar . They may also help to draw attention to other concerns, such as damage to the enamel from acidic drinks. Reducing sugar consumption may help prevent damage that results from the microbial fermentation of sugars. Additionally, sugarless candies or gum with sugar alcohols (such as xylitol ) can reduce the production of acids because these are fermented to nonacidic compounds (although excess consumption may lead to gastrointestinal distress). Fluoride treatment or ingesting fluoridated water strengthens the minerals in teeth and reduces the incidence of dental caries .

If caries develop, prompt treatment prevents worsening. Smaller areas of decay can be drilled to remove affected tissue and then filled. If the pulp is affected, then a root canal may be needed to completely remove the infected tissues to avoid continued spread of the infection, which could lead to painful abscesses .

  • Name some ways that microbes contribute to tooth decay.
  • What is the most important cariogenic species of bacteria?

Periodontal disease

In addition to damage to the teeth themselves, the surrounding structures can be affected by microbes. Periodontal disease is the result of infections that lead to inflammation and tissue damage in the structures surrounding the teeth. The progression from mild to severe periodontal disease is generally reversible and preventable with good oral hygiene.

Inflammation of the gums that can lead to irritation and bleeding is called gingivitis . When plaque accumulates on the teeth, bacteria colonize the gingival space . As this space becomes increasingly blocked, the environment becomes anaerobic. This allows a wide variety of microbes to colonize, including Porphyromonas , Streptococcus , and Actinomyces . The bacterial products, which include lipopolysaccharide (LPS), proteases , lipoteichoic acids , and others, cause inflammation and gum damage ( [link] ). It is possible that methanogenic archaeans (including Methanobrevibacter oralis and other Methanobrevibacter species) also contribute to disease progression as some species have been identified in patients with periodontal disease , but this has proven difficult to study. Hans-Peter Horz and Georg Conrads. “Methanogenic Archaea and Oral Infections—Ways to Unravel the Black Box.” Journal of Oral Microbiology 3(2011). doi: 10.3402/jom.v3i0.5940. Hiroshi Maeda, Kimito Hirai, Junji Mineshiba, Tadashi Yamamoto, Susumu Kokeguchi, and Shogo Takashiba. “Medical Microbiological Approach to Archaea in Oral Infectious Diseases.” Japanese Dental Science Review 49: 2, p. 72–78. Paul W. Lepp, Mary M. Brinig, Cleber C. Ouverney, Katherine Palm, Gary C. Armitage, and David A. Relman. “Methanogenic Archaea and Human Periodontal Disease.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101 (2003): 16, pp. 6176–6181. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0308766101. Gingivitis is diagnosed by visual inspection, including measuring pockets in the gums, and X-rays, and is usually treated using good dental hygiene and professional dental cleaning, with antibiotics reserved for severe cases.

Questions & Answers

Differentiation between electron, proton and neutron
Zainab Reply
proton .possitive charge electron . negative charge neutron . having no charge
proton positive charge. electron negative charge. And no charge of the neutron.
the nucleus is composed of electrons (-) charge and they turn around the Nucleon the Nucleon = neutron(no charge) + proton (+) a neutron can turn to a proton and vice versa (cuz they have the same mass=1)
what are the roles of microorganisms in human being
Buhari Reply
some causes disease, others are not disease causing
they're necessary in our digestive system+the skin,everywhere actually the number of them in the human body alone is higher(by millions)than the number of humans cells,they're indispensable in the food industry,others are fundamental to make medicines and more,what exactly are you asking about ?
What are the natural occurring elements found in organisms on earth?
Otu Reply
some of the naturally occurring elements found in organisms are carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen
some of them are carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, phosphorus and sulfur
what is Zika virus?
Somali Reply
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. 
intracellular vesicles are found in
Akshay Reply
how do i report widal slide results
Isaac Reply
how food can be used as a substrate for the growth of microorganisms
Ashi Reply
what is the importance of understanding chemistry in the field of microbiology and food technology?
Charmaine Reply
What is different between eukaryotes and prokcaryotic
Abia Reply
main difference is that eukaryotic cells possess membrane bound organelles
prokaryotes are primitive organisms that doesn't contain membrane bound nucleus or any orgenelle while in eukaryotes membrane bound orgenelles and nucleus is present
what s anatomy
jane Reply
its mean body structure, function, and systems
study of internal structure of living things
anatomy is the study structure of the made human
anotomy is the actual study of body internally and externally Which include how itis made. for what and what is need of this
la science anatomie c'est la science qui nous aide à étudier l'homme
Ancestor are they real
Rapheal Reply
yes of course
yes please
50 50, depending on the accuracy of the clan records.
Why protist is not a kingdom of Linnaeus 'S taxonomy?
Neha Reply
I dont know
Linnaeus used Aristotle's criteria for dividing living organisms into kingdoms. Plants are immobile and insensitive, while animals are mobile and sensitive. the creatures he saw through the microscope were mobile, so he attributed them to animals.
name the different types of media use in lab to detect the micro organisms
Shehzadi Reply
The different types of media used in the lab to detect the microorganisms is known as cell culture..
solid media or broth is used to grow and detect microorganisms
what is microbiology
the study of large living organisms
the study of organisms which are micro in range
what is autoclaving?
process for sterilization
is a machine used on the process of sterilisation
what is difference between hot air oven and autoclave as they both are used for sterilization ?
autoclave basically do moist heat sterilization while hot air oven do sterilization by dry heat.....
what is the microbe
which method out of these two is best?
why human have microbe
hi to all
depends on what to sterilize
what is knowledge
well idea
what are the importance of microbiologe to a nurse
Enny Reply
it enable a nurse to know the weight and height of a patient
it helps the nurse in way as to give first aid to patient on which basis doctor will take diagonos
disagree with both of you
Your Own idea
it helps a nurse to be able to counsel a patient /client
cell culture
Types of micro organisms
Jennifer Reply
Who discovered plant and animal cell
Robert Hooke
Practice MCQ 4

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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