eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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Review paper
Immunological aspects of dental caries

Sylwia Małgorzata Słotwińska

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2012; 37 (2): 182-185)
The relations between host and bacteria present in oral cavity are dynamic and subject to many conditions. Microorganisms present in the oral cavity are not enough to cause a disease. Potentially pathogenic bacteria can be isolated from clinically healthy volunteers. Biological balance, called homeostasis, is of primary importance. Thus a crucial role plays immune response to bacterial infection. It has been stated over 100 years ago that caries is caused by bacteria. And yet both Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus spp. permanently colonize oral cavity. In fact, they belong to natural oral microflora. The studies on immunological aspects of caries have been conducted for many years now. They include various mechanisms. One of the most studied aspects is the immunoglobulin level. The results of the studies concerning correlation between serum or salivary immunoglobulin level and caries advancement are equivocal. Much hope is placed in studies on glucosylotransferases (GTF): bacterial enzymes, converting sucrose into glucans – extracellular polysaccharides, actively taking part in cellular adhesion in microbial biofilm forming process. Main elements of caries prevention comprise mechanical dental plaque removal by means of effective brushing, as well as limitation of daily sugar intake.

dental caries, Streptococcus mutans, host response, glucosyltransferases

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