Cavity Prevention (CariFree)



5 ways to beat tooth decay: [hint] it’s not floss

Dental Caries is a very complex biofilm infection. There are currently 23 identified strains of bacteria in biofilms that produce the acids responsible for eating away enamel, causing cavitation. Due to recent research there are amazing new opportunities for prevention and treatment that did not exist even 5 to 10 years ago. The greatest discovery however, is that cavities are not just bad things that happen to good people.  Be sure you know your risk as this issue cannot often be controlled without professional help.

What we know

1. Dental caries is not pathogen specific.  Meaning, there isn’t one virus, bacteria, or fungus that is causing the infection. Unlike strep throat or an ear infection, your dentist can’t provide you with a simple antibiotic that target specific bacteria and call it a day. 

2. The selection pressure (pH) is changeable; making dental caries a moving target. Behaviors and risk factors affect a patient’s oral pH constantly.  This vacillating selection pressure is also responsible for how the bacteria in the biofilm are behaving.  So even if a patient has good, healthy bacteria present today, if a behavior changes (adding another soda to the routine) and the pH is staying low- the acid producers will begin to thrive- and the good bacteria die out. In some cases good bacteria can actually become acid producing if the conditions of the mouth are right.

3.  The biofilm community is difficult to penetrate.  Biofilms are very tightknit communities and have been found to be extremely resilient to intervention.  It can require a long-term course of strong therapy agents to cause change.  

What you can do

1.       Find a dental professional that is practicing CAMBRA.  A CAMBRA dentist is the only dentist that can tell you if you have the infection, and exactly what is causing your disease. 

2.      Find a dentist that can screen you for the acid production of your biofilm.  If it is in excess, you will need a strong antimicrobial rinse.

3.       Find a dentist that has pH elevated products.  As pH is the culprit- it is also the solution. By managing the pH with elevated pH products, you can, over time, change the way your biofilm functions.

4.      Find a dentist that offers a strong non-pathogen specific antimicrobial rinse as part of their caries management strategy. 

5.      Be consistent!  Therapy will only work if you are willing to do it.  Take the time to be sure you are ready for a biofilm management program before you begin.

Even though dental caries is complex, it is preventable and reversible. For more information on dental caries and prevention, go to: 


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