As soon as you thought you knew everything there is to know about childhood cavities there’s more. Childhood cavities or caries is a chronic and infectious disease in young children and mostly seen in minority and poor populations. Caries is tooth decay, and ironically is common and widespread among children in the U.S. despite the available preventative dental treatments. Just when you thought you knew all you needed to know, your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest, shares more news on childhood caries.
What Causes Childhood Cavities?
Until recently, Streptococcus mutans was believed to be the major contributing organism in tooth decay. This harmful bacterium metabolizes sugars and starches left over in the mouth from foods and beverages, producing a sticky biofilm of bacteria and enamel eating acids called plaque. However, a new relationship was discovered between the bacterium Streptococcus mutans and the fungus Candida albicans (the same fungus that contributes to thrush). Together they double the number of cavities and increase their severity. Although the study was performed on rats, it has been noticed that C. albicans is very often present in early childhood caries biofilm, or plaque. The findings were published online Feb. 24 in the journal Infection and Immunity.
It appears that, while in the presence of sugar, the Streptococcus mutans bacterium enables The Candida albicans fungus to produce a gluey polymer substance that adheres the fungus to your teeth. Due to this symbiotic relationship, the Streptococcus mutans aids the fungus in contributing to the bulk of dental plaque.
Learn more about preventing childhood cavities
Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.