Remineralization Of Carbohydrates

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Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. Carbohydrates — one of the basic foods groups — is important to a healthy life. -
Carbohydrates, together with fats and proteins, provide the necessary energy needs for humans, and constitute, therefore, an integral part of a normal diet.
Diet affects the integrity of teeth; quantity, pH and composition of saliva; plaque pH.
Sugars and other fermentable carbohydrates after being hydrolyzed with salivary amylase provide substrate f or the action of the oral bacteria , which in turn lower plaque and salivary pH. The resultant action is the beginning of teeth demineralization
A dynamic and definite association exists between the consumption
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Saliva contains many cario-protective components that help defend teeth against erosion including calcium and phosphate, fluoride, buffers and anti-microbial agents. It therefore neutralizes acids, dilutes sugars in food as well as assists in repairing losses to teeth surfaces through remineralization. Unfortunately, this ‘normal’ remineralization process is very slow. Thus, if demineralization of enamel exceeds the remineralization repair process, caries formation will occur.
Factors influencing Dental health
The frequency and severity of attacks on teeth surfaces can be influenced by a number of factors.
• For example, “grazing” on food and drink for long periods of time increases exposure of bacteria to fermentable carbohydrate and therefore increases the exposure of teeth to acids.
• Similarly, foods that stick to teeth will increase exposure of teeth to acids since they remain in the mouth longer.
• Other factors include the amount and virulence of bacteria present,
• the abundance and make-up of saliva,
• the inherent resistance of teeth to acid and the type of
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It may take up to 120 minutes for dental plaque pH to return to neutral after exposure

A healthy diet is required for dental health however, overall oral hygiene is essential. An individual’s oral hygiene practice greatly influences the caries forming process. Prevention programs to control and abolish dental caries should focus on fluoridation and proper oral hygiene habits, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

• Carbohydrates in Human Nutrition, FAO/WHO, 1998
• Carbohydrates and Dental Health, Carbohydrate News, Canadian Sugar Institute, 2002
• Caries Preventive Strategies International Life Sciences Institute (Europe), 1995
• Guidelines for sugar consumption in Europe: is a quantitative approach justified? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 53:503-513, 1999
• Diet and dental caries: cariogenicity may depend more on oral hygiene using fluorides than on diet or type of carbohydrates, Van Loveren, C. European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 1:55-62, 2000

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