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Review
, 126 Suppl 1, 19-25

Prevention of Dental Caries as a Non-Communicable Disease

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Review

Prevention of Dental Caries as a Non-Communicable Disease

Svante Twetman. Eur J Oral Sci.

Abstract

Today, dental caries is regarded as a preventable non-communicable disease (NCD) that affects a majority of the population across their lifespan. As such, it shares a number of behavioural, socio-economic, and lifestyle factors with other NCDs, such as overweight and diabetes, and should be subjected to a similar model of chronic disease management. Caries prevention has traditionally relied on fluoride exposure, diet control, thorough oral hygiene, and antibacterial measures. Prevention of caries as an NCD does certainly not disqualify these methods, but brings them into a new context. This conference paper provides a brief review on how common preventive measures can interfere with the drivers of dysbiosis and promote the growth of health-associated clusters in the oral microbiome. Besides the established routines of regular toothbrushing with fluoride products, there is an opportunity for additional technologies, based on ecological principles, to address and modify the oral biofilm. Methods to reduce dietary sugar intake, slow down plaque metabolism, and support saliva functions should be further developed and investigated in terms of efficacy, compliance, and cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, biofilm engineering through pre- and probiotics early in life to support microbial diversity seem promising in order to obtain a sustained caries-preventive effect.

Keywords: fluoride; oral bacteria; probiotics; sugars.

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