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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

what is microbiology
vijay Reply
microbiology is the scientific study of microorganisms .microorganisms are those organisms that are too small to see with the naked eye ex-bacteria fungi
Yashkin
a branch of biological science concerned with organisms that can not be observed with a naked eye
Mooya
what are the types of granulocytes and explain
lord
polymorpho nuclear leukocyte, known as granulocyte are divide into three,1-polymorpho eosinophil 2-polymorpho basophil 3-polymorpho neutrophil
Musa
I want to know more about sample collection on the field
Ama Reply
blood collection and urinarysis
Lizzy
2143
Lizzy
yes
Lizzy
In the periodic table the number on the upper left hand side is what
Aurelia Reply
Hydrogen
Tob
am not talking about the elements
Aurelia
Is it the atomic number or the mass number
Aurelia
hologen
Usman
differences between acid fast and non acid fast bacilli
ANTHONY Reply
acid fast have cell wall that holds to carbol fuschin stain while non acid fast doesn't have. it readily releases out the primary stain the carbol fuschin.
LAFIA
where do I post a question that isn't related to that topic
eklectc
hi everyone
kennedy
hello
Olivia
for sure, this question is not related to the topic.
LAFIA
can someone explain the process of glycolysis and the electron transport chain? I'm so freakin lost. it loses carbons, gains hydroxyls, gains, loses Hydrogens....ugh it's like a foreign language to me! or direct me to a youTube video or something that will make this seem easier to concept?
eklectc
it's a loaded question, sorry!
eklectc
why is DNA a genetic material
Mcbeth Reply
DNA is genetic material because it contains chromosome contains the traits which includes characters and behavioral characteristics
chima
why is it difficulty to classfy protista
Tanaka
Good
Eddy
what is infection prevention
Muhammed Reply
good hygiene
Dhaqan
way of preventing disease causing germs
henry
maintenance of sterilization
Pooja
h
Faustina
describe the components of the epidemiology triangle
Muhammed Reply
Hai
Nantongo
hii
Md
where from you
Md
i am Indian
Md
you
Md
Hello friend
effiong
How are you people doing
effiong
أ‌) Host factor ب) pathogen ج) environment
Widad
Hello
Kofi
Hi
Widad
hey hi
kalai
The epidemiologic triangle is made up of three parts: agent, host and environment
Princess
please can a microbiologist will work at hospital
Usman
what are the fluids used in biochemistry Lab used to diagnose diseases
Jb Reply
fadumo qule a gemil3
fadumo Reply
Faadum mahamud disease micro biology
fadumo
makuway diinkaraan suaalo
fadumo
history of microbiology
Balqees Reply
Penicillin is caused by what microorganism
Balqees
Penicillin is caused by what microorganism
Balqees
penicillium notatum
Pooja
M sorry I mean penicillin is caused by what Fungi
Balqees
penicillium fungi
Pooja
when I finish with my bsc in microbiology where wil I work
Usman
Why can we see ourselves in a mirror?
Usman
mention 5 characteristics of prokaryotic cell and also 5 characteristics of euryotic cell
Grace Reply
PROKARYOTES _ does not have nucleus _does not have membrane bound organels like eukaryotes -does not have endoplasmic reticulum _does not have a mitchochondrion _it have plasmid instead of chromosome EUKARYOTE S _have true nucleus _have all membrane bound organels _have mitochondria have
Pooja
continuation _have endoplasmic reticulum _have chromosomes does not have plasmid
Pooja
antigenisity define
kalai
explanation of spores
nahida Reply
what specific types of biological macromolecules do living things require?
Jonathan Reply
define spores its classification
nahida
define spores its structure and classification
nahida
what is a complement
Alecia Reply
something which completes or combine with something else to make it complete.
Kosi
hello
Kosi
medical microbiology
Kosi
you?
Kosi
hi
Amina
Guys who's doing nursing in here
Mumba
I have a question
Mumba
what's the importance of microbiology in nursing
Mumba
yah
Mumba
wow..nice meeting you
Kosi
thanks
Mumba
for
Mumba
anytime
Mumba
microbiology also important for understanding the communicable or non-communicable disease in our hospitals...which is very important for patients and healthy people.
Kiran
what is a microbial flora
Chetan
normal microbial flora
Chetan
Definition of microbiology?
Mohamed Reply
study of microorganisms is known as microbiology
Pooja
no
Mumba
microbiology is the study of small or minute organisms that cannot be seen with our naked eyes but with the aid of a microscope
Mumba
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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