Caries is the disease that has been the biggest concern to dental profession in the modern era and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. Dental caries is defined as: “Tooth decay, which involves the destruction of the enamel layer of the tooth by acids produced by the action of bacteria on sugar.” (Martin & Hine, 2008). So although we tend to focus on the biological basis of the disease, the loss of tissue in a carious lesion is not due to the mere presence of micro-organisms in the plaque, but ultimately is the effect of the acidic metabolic products.
Tooth wear refers to “the non-bacterial loss of tooth by abrasion, attrition, and erosion” (Ireland, 2010). Abfraction – which is where a non-carious cervical lesion develops due to extensive cyclical non-axial loading of the tooth causing stress concentration in the cervical region – could also be considered a form of tooth wear however the clinical evidence for its inclusion as a true contributor is still insufficient (Michael, Townsend, Greenwood, & Kaidonis, 2009). These processes rarely occur individually and an interaction between the four, mediated to a degree by erosion is inevitable (Shellis & Addy, 2014).
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...high acidity beverages (e.g. energy drinks) across all age groups. The production of “tooth-friendly” soft drinks is a step in the right direction for future of oral health, it has so far been insufficient with keeping up with increasing levels of consumption and erosion. Action is required to reverse the lifestyle changes mentioned by Lussi, to reduce the frequency of consumption of acidic foods and drinks to a sustainable level, for a future not only of healthy dentition but also healthy bodies. More of an effort can also be made to educate patients on the effects of soft drink use as well as the safer use of soft drinks – Table 1 sets out recommendations from Tahmassebi of ways to reduce the acidogenicity and cariogenicity of soft drinks, as well as prevention of common behaviours that lead to further wear of teeth soft drink consumption (Tahmassebi et al., 2006).
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