Dentistry Essay

This essay has a total of 1117 words and 5 pages.

dentistry

I began this paper with certain ideas regarding the carries process. It is a known fact
that fluoride helps to prevent carious lesions. Not a whole lot of studies or information
is out there on what I sought out to find. That would be the relationship between calcium
phosphate and carious lesions. I am familiar with the remineralization process of enamel,
and so I decided my topic would appropriately be that calcium phosphate can prevent
carious lesions by helping to remineralize the enamel. It was difficult to find material
to support this topic. While researching, I came across numerous products that contain
calcium phosphate and claim to what I would like it to do.

Carious lesions don't just develop over night. It is a process and it takes a long time,
any where from six months to two years. Dental caries is a dynamic process characterized
by alternating periods of demineralization and remineralization (Harris and Garcia-Godoy
45). Enamel is composed of densely packed hydroxyapatite crystals. The hydroxyapatite
crystals are made up of tricalcium phosphate. During demineralization this is what is
lost. Once enough of this mineral is lost, part of the tooth structure will collapse
forming a cavity. Remineralization is when those ions lost are redeposited in a
demineralized area. It all starts small. We have that wonderful acquired pellicle which is
like fly paper for bacteria. When the bacteria accumulates a plaque is now present. The
bacterial plaque will produce acids, which can eventually cause the enamel structure to
collapse (Winston 1580).

Since calcium and phosphate are what is lost during demineralization, for the
remineralization to occur we must replace these minerals. Saliva naturally contains
calcium and phosphate (Winston 1580). Each person can have a different salivary
concentration of these minerals. It was found that men have a higher concentration of
salivary calcium than women (Sewon 917). There are any number of factors that play hand in
hand with a high level of salivary calcium. High calcium content of the saliva gives us a
high rate of remineralization after initial demineralization. It was noted that the number
of decayed, missing, or filled teeth was lower in patients with high salivary calcium
(males). Some drawbacks to having this much mineral content in the saliva are more
bleeding on probing. This is due to an increase in plaque. It was also found that this
calcium rich plaque hardens very rapidly. Now we have calculus, which has plaque retentive
features. This brings us to the fact that epidemiological studies have shown that
periodontitis is more prevalent in me in than in women. The calculus build up is a
definite factor for periodontal disease. The study ended with the knowledge that a high
concentration of salivary calcium is definitely associated with gingivitis, which can
progress to periodontitis. But at the same time a high concentration of salivary calcium
was associated with better dental health i.e. less carious lesions (Sewon 918).

Certain people can lack salivary and its mineral contents. Someone who is suffering from
hypo salivation (xerostomia), Some receiving head and neck radiation, people who use
certain drugs, and even certain diseases can put them at risk for lack of proper salivary
function. This puts them at risk for increased caries development due to a lack of
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