xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxIntroductionDental caries have become one of the most prevalent diseases in the world today. It is an ecological disease whereby the diet, the host and his microbial flora gradually interact resulting it demineralization of the hard enamel and ultimately formation of dental caries. Past research reveals that almost everyone in the globe has experienced dental cavities at least once in their lifetime. As a result of this, there have been rampant and massive interventions to curb the situation. According to Giannobile et al (2010), doctors and other medical experts have detailed many causes associated with development of dental caries.
Firstly, order, shape and size of teeth, basically influenced by hereditary factors, play a major role in teeth decay. Secondly, dysfunction of saliva, which is responsible for natural cleaning of teeth, might lead to dental caries. Thirdly, dental caries cannot occur in the absence of oral bacteria. Some of the bacteria associated with dental cavities include Lactobacillus spp. , Streptococcus mutans and Veillonella spp. The fourth factor, which is the major contributing factor, is diet. Dietary components that play a major part in dental cavities are the fermented carbohydrates.
This is because they are retained in the mouth for a longer time to ensure maximum metabolization. This then results to excessive production of acids by oral bacteria thus causing demineralization of the enamel. According to aetiology of dental caries, the type of food one takes is not significant in formation of dental caries but rather the frequency in which the food is ingested. Miller et al (2009) point out that failure to brush teeth or improper brushing causes accumulation of a substance known as plaque.
Plaque flourishes in starchy food and once the two components react, acids are formed hence causing erosion of the enamel. Epidemiological studies show that dental caries in industrialized countries such as the USA, UK, New Zealand and Spain, is less prevalent in comparison to developing countries. The major factor to this disparity is food security. Issues underlying food security include use of toothpaste, fluoride in water, mouth tablets and mouth rinses. Constant oral hygiene programs go a long way in reducing incidences of dental caries among adults as well as children (Turnock 2012). Diet and health information is adequately availed by large health organizations such as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
These organizations regularly hold consultations with experts in diet and health which are then given to governments to serve as guidelines on matters of nutrition and health (Chu 2006). In most cases, the reports availed by such organizations provide recommendations that are country specific as factors of health and nutrition differ from country to country. There are many sources that contain information regarding dental matters and they include standard texts by various authors, published textbooks, periodic magazines, web pages among others (Bagramian et al 2009).
Dietary interventions on dental caries Anderson, C. Curzon, E. Van Loveren, C., and Duggal, M. 2009. Volume, 10, issue 1, p. 41-54.The article makes reference of a study that was conducted to assess the relationship between dental caries and patterns of sucrose use. Theories have established that sugar is the greatest cause of dental caries. Statistics however, report that prevalence of dental caries varies from community to community.
The study determined that children are at greater risk of developing dental caries due to the kind of food they are exposed to especially in schools. The study revealed a close correlation of high sugar content foods such as pastry, candies, cakes and ice creams and dental caries. On the other hand, use of sugar-free candies and gums went a long way in preventing development of caries. It is quite clear that sugar cannot be taken on its own but has to be included in certain foods and mostly food made with floor.
Since invent of wheat floor in the early 19th century, dental caries have increased tremendously. Wheat is cheap and readily available which further accelerates the problem of dental caries. Although the article sheds a little light on the use of sugar free gums and candies as interventions to curb the problem of dental caries it fails to give proper and detailed recommendations on dietary interventions on dental caries.