Bacteria provoking caries - Streptococcus mutans - appeared in the human oral cavity even in ancient times, after the amount of meat in the diet of ancient people decreased and more carbohydrates appeared due to the development of agriculture and cattle breeding. At the same time, as evidenced by research data, in the Middle Ages, the prevalence of caries in Europe was almost three times lower than today - and this despite the fact that teeth were brushed with very dubious, from a modern point of view, mixtures. For example, crushed marble, date-stone ash, honeysuckle leaves. The fact is that caries is in the literal sense of the word a disease of the “industrial revolution”, as a result of which refined sugar, sugary drinks and other foods high in carbohydrates have appeared in our diet.
The bacteria Streptococcus mutans live precisely due to carbohydrate residues of food, processing them into acid. In contact with the surface of the teeth, it has a truly disastrous effect on calcium hydroxyapatite, which is the main "building material" of teeth. As a result, caries occurs.
Is it possible to prevent its development? Yes, it is quite real, scientists answer. However, this will have to adhere to a special diet.
First of all, you need to minimize the use of sweets. After eating a cake or candy, drinking juice or sweet water, be sure to rinse your mouth. If possible, replace the carcinogenic glucose, sucrose and fructose with less cariogenic sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol.
Fluoride is an effective remedy for strengthening tooth enamel. Choose fluoride toothpastes, but do not overdo it: for one tooth brushing, a volume of pea size is enough. Fluorine overabundance is just as bad for enamel as its flaw.
The combination of calcium and vitamin D is crucial for those who want to prevent the development of caries. The daily intake of calcium for an adult is about 900 mg, and vitamin D is necessary for this mineral to be absorbed by our body.
Please note that garlic, a powerful natural antiseptic, as well as whole-grain cereals and blue berries that prevent the formation of acid plaque on the teeth effectively prevent the reproduction of cariogenic bacteria in the oral cavity.
But those who die hard to adhere, it remains to hope for a vaccine against caries, which will save us from the sound of the drill. Scientists continue to work on its invention. Moreover, they have already achieved some success - back in 2011, researchers from the Wuhen Institute of Virology (China) stated that they had successfully tested a vaccine in rats, which causes the body to kill bacteria that provoke caries.
However, their colleagues from other countries are still quite skeptical about the achievements of specialists from the Middle Kingdom. First of all, vaccination against caries will be really effective only if children aged from one year to one and a half years old do it - when the first baby teeth appear, but the community of bacteria that provoke plaque has not yet formed.
In addition, the vaccine against caries has another disadvantage. Even if it can be used to overcome one of the types of streptococcus that provokes the disease, other types of bacteria can intercept the “initiative”, which will continue to contribute to the destruction of the tooth. Therefore, the future of "vaccination against caries" is still in question, and humanity remains to rely on oral hygiene and not too abuse sweets.