Biochemical elements in the oral cavity
The oral cavity is a complex environment containing a variety of biochemical elements, each with their specific role in maintaining oral health.
One of the main biochemical elements in the oral cavity is water.
Water is needed to keep oral tissues hydrated and to dilute chemical compounds that can harm teeth and mucosa.
Fluoride is also an important biochemical element in the oral cavity. Fluoride is found in drinking water and in some toothpastes and tooth varnishes.
It helps restore tooth enamel, preventing tooth decay.
Proteins are also present in the oral cavity. Saliva contains proteins that help lubricate oral tissues and start the digestion process.
Proteins in dental plaque and in the bacteria that cause tooth decay are also important for oral health.
Lipids are also present in the oral cavity.
They are found in the composition of dental plaque and some bacteria that cause tooth decay. Lipids help to keep oral tissues hydrated and to start the digestion process.
Carbohydrates are also present in the oral cavity. They are found in food and are digested by enzymes in saliva.
Carbohydrates left undigested can contribute to the formation of dental plaque and tooth decay.
Acids and bases are also present in the oral cavity. Acids are produced by bacteria that cause tooth decay and can damage tooth enamel. Bases, such as sodium bicarbonate, are found in saliva and help neutralize acids, maintaining an optimal pH in the oral cavity.
Minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, are also important for oral health.
They are found in the composition of teeth and jawbone and are necessary for the restoration and maintenance of the integrity of these tissues.
Enzymes are also present in the oral cavity. Enzymes in saliva, such as amylase, help to start the digestion process, while enzymes produced by bacteria that cause tooth decay help to break down carbohydrates and form acids.
Vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin K are also important for oral health. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and maintaining the integrity of jaw bones, while vitamin K helps blood clotting and repair oral tissues.
In summary, the oral cavity contains a variety of biochemical elements, each with their specific role in maintaining oral health.
Water, fluoride, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, acids and bases, minerals, enzymes and vitamins are all important for maintaining good oral health.
It is important to have good oral hygiene and eat healthy foods to maintain a proper balance of these biochemical elements in the oral cavity.
The oral cavity is a complex system in which several elements live in balance to ensure optimal functionality of this first segment of the digestive system.
To understand the processes and mechanisms that occur in the oral cavity, we need to understand the role of each component of this system.
This is the fluid that moistens all mucous membranes and dental surfaces. Saliva plays a role in lubrication and contains various enzymes and proteins that play a role in digestion or local defence.
Saliva levels fluctuate depending on the activity performed. For example, at rest, saliva is constant at its normal, genetic level.
During meals, with the presence of food in the oral cavity, its secretion increases to help form the food bowl and facilitate the passage of food to deeper segments of the digestive system.
In contrast to the increased saliva levels during meals, there is also the reverse situation, when we have secreted a lower amount of saliva than the body needs, a condition called xerostomia.
The causes for the occurrence of xerostomia can be the following:
Pathologies of the salivary glands
Medications such as myorelaxants, antidepressants or antihistamines
Immune pathologies such as Sjogren’s syndrome
Plaque is a soft-textured substance that adheres to the tooth surface within minutes of brushing.
It is basically a colony of bacteria, mycoplasma and viruses that adhere to each other, forming a gelatinous organic matter.
Dental plaque can be detected within an hour of it starting to form. As the volume of dental plaque increases, more and more bacteria colonize the dental surfaces, forming increasingly difficult to disrupt complexes.
Dental plaque stagnating for a long time in the oral cavity attracts calcium and phosphorus ions that will play a decisive role in its mineralization and transformation into tartar.
The latter can no longer be removed by conventional brushing but only by scaling.
Bacterial complexes are numerous and can have destructive effects or, on the contrary, be useful for the body. Some bacteria have a protective effect if they are found in a certain concentration.
Once the levels tolerated by the body are exceeded, these bacteria become pathogenic. Streptococcus mutans is considered to be the most destructive bacteria in the oral cavity.
It attaches easily to tooth surfaces and produces acid, which demineralizes and weakens enamel.
Every time we ingest food, the bacteria found in oral biofilm produce varying amounts of acid.
Thus, the more we snack, the more we stimulate the production of acids, which can easily express their erosive potential.
Prevention through rigorous dental hygiene remains the most effective weapon against caries.
During brushing, certain steps must be followed to make sure that we do not cause more damage. For example, it is not recommended to brush teeth within the first half hour of eating.
The attack produced by the bacteria contained in the food produces an acidic environment.
Brushing in the first few minutes, when we already have an acidic environment, only weakens the tooth structure.
Ideally, saliva should be given time to neutralize the acidic environment before acting with other stimuli that can produce similar effects.