Host Mediated Response

(J Dent Res. 1970 Sep-Oct;49(5):1020-4. New thesis on the development of erosion and dental caries. Gabrovsek J.)

About 6 years ago my son’s teeth started falling apart.  He was only 5 and he had decay in quite a few teeth and  he’d had abscesses.  When his dentist did a saliva test,  his results were those of a child who eats sugar from morning to night.  WHAT??

That couldn’t be right,  I’m a dental assistant, his diet is just about perfect and I brush his teeth at night.  None of us could explain it.  If I’d been a “normal” (ie non dental) patient, everybody would have assumed that I was lying about his diet.  Giving him a coke for breakfast?  Mars bar for snack?

3 years later, he was diagnosed with Celiac disease (can’t digest gluten).  He’s been on a gluten-free diet since and guess what….no dental problems. None.

Host-mediated response?  Could that be the answer?  Next time you have a patient with unexplained dental decay, would you consider further investigations into their health/immune system?

Anybody out there want to do some research into this?  Get over the indoctrination of “sugar + bacteria = acid produced by bacteria” model.

With many thanks  to the wonderful Andy Lane for this.

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