The caries environment: Saliva, pellicle, diet, and hard tissue ultrastructure

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

39 Scopus citations


The pathogenicity of the dental biofilm is modified by salivary and dietary factors, as well as by the characteristics of the tooth structure. The composition of the acquired pellicle can modify the mineral homeostasis of the tooth surfaces and the attachment of bacteria for the development of the biofilm. The substitution of sucrose from the diet by other less cariogenic sugars and/or sugar substitutes can contribute to reducing the pathogenicity of the biofilm. Saliva clears, dilutes, neutralizes, and buffers acids produced by the biofilm. In addition, saliva provides the biofilm/tooth structure with Ca2+ PO43- and F- ions, which can positively affect the equilibrium between demineralization-remineralization toward the remineralization and modify the susceptibility of the tooth structure to caries progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-467
Number of pages13
JournalDental Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Caries environment
  • Dietary modifications
  • Salivary factors
  • Tooth structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The caries environment: Saliva, pellicle, diet, and hard tissue ultrastructure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this