The saliva solution
Saliva is a solution; a homogenous mixture of substances that combine to form single liquid.
· 98% water *** this is the solvent, it has the greater quantity
· 2% (electrolytes, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds) *** This is the solute and is dispersed in the solvent
The 2% Solute consists of
· Electrolytes (Electrolytes are ions in solutions, also known as salts, for example, NaCl and KI)
· Enzymes (Enzymes are catalysts, catalysts speed up the rate & lower the activation energy of a Chemical Reaction)
· Antibacterial Compounds (antibacterial compounds are pure substances that are composed of two or more elements in fixed proportions)
What Causes Dental Cavities? Specific bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans cause cavities.
These bacteria are aerobic meaning they require oxygen to survive; having a dry mouth increases the chance for cavities.
Cavity causing bacteria are different than the bacteria that causes gum disease, which live in an anaerobic environment. Both of these bacteria can be passed from person to person.
Plaque, is also known as Biofilm.
A microbial biofilm is a layer of prokaryotic organisms which adhere to a surface and are coated with a polysaccharide layer.
The biofilm increases the prokaryotic cells survival through increased defense, availability of nutrients, cellular communication, and the ability to transfer genetic material to each other.
A polysaccharide is composed of more than one sugar molecule.
How the cavity is formed
Underneath the plaque, the bacteria produce acids as a by-product of their metabolism.
The acids produced by the bacteria break down tooth structures, this is also known as demineralization.
Once the demineralized tooth structure grows into an advanced bacterial colony, it is than defined as a cavity.
Metabolism is defined as the sum of all of the chemical reactions in a body, which breaks down larger molecules into smaller ones and releases energy, and which builds up large chemicals and requires energy.
For bacteria, their main energy source is sugar.
Demineralized is defined as the loss of bodily minerals (such as calcium salts) especially in disease; the process of removing mineral matter or salts.
“Demineralization.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, 2019, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demineralization.
(2014) DAT prep by Kaplan Review Notes. New York, NY: Kaplan Publishing.
How to Prevent Cavities
Plaque needs to be removed daily to prevent it from forming cavities and turning into tartar, tooth brushing is a physical way you can remove dental plaque.
Some kinds of toothpaste have abrasive ingredients in them which helps with the plaque and stain removal, but the most effective tool is your toothbrush.
You can remineralize your teeth by using fluoride.
Since your toothbrush does not reach between your teeth, it is important to use floss, this allows you to clean between your gums and tooth structures.
Visiting your dentist for routine cleanings is also important.
Getting the cavity removed (advanced bacterial colony) and having a filling placed will help prevent the bacteria from spreading from one tooth to a neighboring tooth.
Have sealants placed, this is a preventative protective coating that will protect the tooth surfaces from the acid of bacteria.
“Are patients doing enough to combat plaque biofilm?.” RDH Magazine, March 2019, Page 12. (2014) DAT prep by Kaplan Review Notes. New York, NY: Kaplan Publishing.
For further reading see the source below from the American Dental Association (ADA)
Tackling Tooth Decay
Wisdom teeth, also called your third molars can help you with chewing if your jaw is big enough to handle the extra four teeth.
Variations in DNA which are known as mutations when humans reproduced around 2.4 million years ago caused their jaws to become smaller and brains become bigger. This mutated genetic information was passed onto offspring because it was a favorable trait.
As the brain grew larger and the jaw became smaller, there eventually was no room for wisdom teeth in the new smaller jaw as the favorable trait of a larger brain was passed on. Currently, we have Oral Surgeons to remove wisdom teeth that are impacted or infected.
If you are born without your wisdom teeth, you are at an evolutionary advantage. As of now, we use oral surgeons to remove wisdom teeth, but the genetic mutation of no wisdom teeth is a beneficial trait.
Cavity on Wisdom Tooth
Unable to clean bacteria and plaque off the wisdom teeth can cause a cavity on a wisdom tooth.
Unable to floss near the wisdom teeth can cause a cavity on your wisdom tooth and possibly neighboring teeth.
Wisdom Tooth Impacted
There is not enough room for the third molars, this may cause damage to neighboring teeth to crowd or shift.
A cyst could form by the wisdom tooth. This may damage the bone or neighboring tooth roots.
Wisdom Tooth Infection
Due to a tooth that is partially erupted through gums. Bacteria can enter the gums and cause a gum infection or due to a cavity that has reached the nerve of the wisdom tooth.
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is also known as Gum Disease and is defined as:
Peri - meaning around
- dontal meaning tooth
Disease is any damage or injury that impairs an organism's function
What Causes Gum Disease and Gingivitis?
The tissues and supporting bone around a tooth may be attacked by specific bacteria, this may cause the teeth to become loose and cause tooth loss. These bacteria can cause a gum infection, which is different than the bacteria that cause a cavity.
The specific bacteria that cause Gum Disease, Gingivitis, and Periodontal Disease are Anaerobic bacteria. This means that they can only survive in an environment without oxygen.
This is why flossing and brushing your teeth daily is important. You remove the debris, disrupt the biofilm forming, and allow oxygen to reach the pockets between your gums and teeth. 3.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
2. Marieb, E. (2007). Human Anatomy & Physiology. 7th ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education, Inc, p.Word Roots, Prefixes, Suffixes, and Combining Forms.
There are three main dental acid erosion patterns that have been associated with different likely causes (A, B, and C).
A = Diet
B = GERD - Gastroesophageal reflux disease also known as hot burps
C = Bulimia or Alcoholism
Here is link to a visual of what the patterns look like
Why do the patterns form this way?
A = These acids come from an outside source such as food or something your drink. When you eat acidic foods like soda and sour candy, the chewing surface, tongue, and cheek surfaces on the back molars begins to get chalky or demineralize.
B = These acids are internal. Stomach acid travels up your throat and into your mouth, usually when you are sleeping. This causes significant tooth loss since you are swallowing less when you are sleeping and your mouth is producing less saliva which protects your teeth from acidic attack.
C = When the acids start attacking the front teeth on the tongue side, it may be an indication of recurrent vomiting or alcoholism. These acids come from within you and are intrinsic acid.
Where does the Acid Come From, Internal or External Sources?
A = Extrinsic, an outside source of acid such as dietary acids.
B & C = Intrinsic, an internal source of acid such as gastric acids.
Erosion: Stomach Upset and Your Teeth. (n.d.). Retrieved
March 29, 2019, from https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/tooth-erosion-and-acid-refluxAda.org. (2018).
What are Dental Crowns : Austin Family Dental
What are Dental Crowns : Austin Family DentalDental Crowns are artificial replacement teeth. They are used to replace a missing tooth, cover and support a tooth, or reshape a tooth.
The material being used depends on what is trying to be done with the dental crown, what look the patient is going for and if the individual has a metal allergy. The dental crown can be made of ceramic, gold, porcelain fused to metal, and base metal alloys.
Dental Crowns are used for
My education consists of a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree in Business Administration & Art. Since then I have taken classes in chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics, and microbiology to pursue a career as a dentist; I studied to apply for dental school to become a dentist but was unable to pursue it.