Despite the preventative dental treatments available today caries is widespread among children in the U.S. The word caries is Latin for “rottenness or decay.” Childhood caries, or tooth decay, is a chronic and infectious disease in young children and is mostly seen in minority and poor populations. New research has shown that what we thought we knew about caries isn’t all there is to know. In today’s blog, Dr. William Wager and Dr. Brian Evans cover important facts on childhood caries.
Fact #1: Caries takes an emotional and physical toll on the child including insufficient physical development, diminished ability to learn, pain, suffering, and embarrassment.
Fact #2: Caries also takes a toll on the child’s family, and a financial toll on our society.
Fact #3: Until recently, Streptococcus mutans was believed to be the major contributing organism in tooth decay. However, a new relationship was discovered between the bacterium Streptococcus mutans and the fungus Candida albicans.
Fact #4: The bacterium Streptococcus mutans metabolizes sugars and starches leftover in the mouth and produces a sticky plaque biofilm.
Fact #5: It has been realized via research on rats that Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans together double the number of cavities and increase their severity.
Fact #6:Candida albicans is often present in the plaque of early childhood caries.
Fact #7:In the presence of sugar, the Streptococcus mutans bacterium enables the Candida albicans fungus to produce a gluey polymer substance that serves to help the Candida albicans fungus stick to your teeth. It is now understood that Candida albicans contributes to the bulk of dental plaque, which results in tooth decay.
About Your Reno Dentists
Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 829-7700.