The Microbiology of Dental Caries

  • L. M. Silverstone
  • N. W. Johnson
  • J. M. Hardie
  • R. A. D. Williams
Chapter

Abstract

As was mentioned in chapter 1, there have been a number of theories concerning the aetiology of dental caries, of which the acidogenic theory has been the most generally accepted. According to this theory, caries is initiated by organic acids produced by oral bacteria as a result of their fermentative activity on carbohydrates. The credit for the ‘Chemicoparasitic’ or acidogenic theory is usually ascribed to W. D.Miller1, but it is fair to say that his conclusions were based on the accumulated efforts of a number of other investigators, as well as his own, during the nineteenth century. In 1897, N. B. Williams reported his observation that the enamel of human teeth was covered with adhesive ‘gelatine-like’ material, consisting largely of microorganisms, and suggested that this material might be responsible for the localisation of acid attack to certain areas of the tooth surface. Writing a year later, G. V. Black coined the phrase ‘gelatinous microbial plaques’ for the bacteria on the tooth surface, and supported the idea that acid-producing bacteria were the main aetiological agents in caries.

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Further reading

  1. Bibby, B. G. and Shern, R. J. (Eds) (1978). Methods of Caries Prediction. A Special Supplement of Microbiology Abstracts, Information Retrieval Inc., Washington D.C. and LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Newbrun, E. (1978). Cariology. Williams and Wilkins Co., BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  3. Kleinberg, I., Ellison, S. A. and Mandel, I. D. (Eds) (1979). Saliva and Dental Caries. A Special Supplement of Microbiology Abstracts, Information Retrieval Inc., New York and LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Stiles, H. M., Loesche, W. J. and O’Brien, T. C. (1976). Microbial Aspects of Dental Caries. A Special Supplement of Microbiology Abstracts, Information Retrieval Inc., Washington D. C. and LondonGoogle Scholar

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© L. M. Silverstone, N. W. Johnson, J. M. Hardie and R. A. D. Williams 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. M. Silverstone
  • N. W. Johnson
  • J. M. Hardie
  • R. A. D. Williams

There are no affiliations available

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