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Understanding risk factors for dental caries

Supplier: Essology
04 April, 2012

There have been extensive clinical trials done relating to the identification and the correlation of the significance of risk factors associated with dental caries.

Professor John Featherstone, University of California, San Francisco, has been a leading figure in this research.

In the absence of disease factors, there are known risk factors that can contribute to the bacterial imbalance that lead to new cavities, these include heavy visible plaque, deep pits and fissures, inadequate saliva flow, exposed roots, appliances present, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD or Reflux), Sjogren’s Syndrome, hyposalivary medications, radiation therapy, frequent snacking between meals, acidic beverages, and the use of recreational drugs.

Identification of risk factors is an effective way to educate patients of their responsibilities in maintaining a healthy oral environment. Maintaining healthy teeth requires more than just daily brushing.

Minimising or eliminating these risk factors can be difficult for some patients, so a level of counseling is required with the provision for a review at set periods. Medication induced risk factors that cannot be changed still need to be identified as additional protective factors can be used as a counter measure, correcting the bacterial imbalance. Download a CariFree Risk Assessment Form and review key risk factors for your patients.

Patient screening with the CariScreen ATP Test is a quick and effective way to assess the bacterial activity associated with risk factors. Regular screening is a simple way to monitor and identify patient change. An further assessment of caries risk factors is recommended should a change be identified.

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Source: Essology