Caries Process and Prevention Strategies: The Environment


This is part 4 of a 10-part series entitled Caries Process and Prevention Strategies. In this course, the role of fermentable carbohydrates is discussed, paying particular attention to 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 amount of bacteria present in plaque affect dental plaque pH responses.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

  • The authors report no conflicts of interest associated with this course.

Disclaimer: Participants must always be aware of the hazards of using limited knowledge in integrating new techniques or procedures into their practice. Only sound evidence-based dentistry should be used in patient therapy.

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