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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3
Dental caries: Research perspective

Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication12-Feb-2018

How to cite this article:
Balaji S M. Dental caries: Research perspective. Indian J Dent Res 2018;29:3

How to cite this URL:
Balaji S M. Dental caries: Research perspective. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Oct 1];29:3. Available from:
Dental caries remains a global health-care issue with eminent economic impact and skewed distribution across and within countries.[1] In India, with diverse food habit, socioeconomic and cultural variations as well as skewed oral health-care workforce, the impact on the incidence of dental caries is huge.[2]

Recent dental research works call for a change in approach to dental caries treatment. Till a last couple of years, development of cost-effective, universally applicable products to interrupt the complex pathological biofilms was called for. Recently, it has been reconstructed to call for a series of approaches that encompass behavioral modification and/or targeted approaches that would reduce sugar consumption based on individual or community risks for dental caries. Now, dental caries is described as a microbial disease that results from “a dysbiosis in the oral microbiome.” The previously described factors such as sugar consumption, salivary flow alteration, changes in oral pH have now been re-delegated as “ecological pressures” that aid in “dysbiosis” and not the change itself. Also to be noted is the reduction or failure of the remineratization capability of the oral structures. The proceedings of the third edition of International Conference on Novel Anticaries and Remineralizing Agents 3 shed more light into the various research activities across the world.[3]

From a preventive aspect, the current focus is to understand and correct the oral dysbiosis as well as the ecological pressures that promote the dysbiosis. From treatment perspective, remineralization holds the roost. Notably among them is silver either alone (nanoparticles) or in combination with fluoride (e.g., silver diamine fluoride) as antibacterial and remineralizing agent.[3]

For country like India, the dental fraternity needs to urgently change the focus to accelerate the behavioral change with respect to cariogenic and preventive measures, restrict the access/use of cheap, refined sugars, and carbohydrates. There is also a need for a drastic change in the caries management approach by the dental profession – “away from restoration of the consequences of the disease to management of the disease throughout the life span.”[3]

To successfully combat dental caries and its implication on lifetime caries-free status, the system needs to explore all modalities of anticariogenity. Research involves traditional, folklore, and alternative and complimentary systems of medicine to achieve the disruption of dysbiosis and builds better oral hygiene-related behavioral changes.[4],[5],[6]

The Indian dental researchers shall utilize this opportunity to make the oral health for all better.

   References Top

Kassebaum NJ, Bernabé E, Dahiya M, Bhandari B, Murray CJ, Marcenes W, et al. Global burden of untreated caries: A systematic review and metaregression. J Dent Res 2015;94:650-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Balaji SM. Need for more research on burden of oral diseases in India. Indian J Dent Res 2017;28:594.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Featherstone JD, Fontana M, Wolff M. Novel anticaries and remineralization agents: Future research needs. J Dent Res 2018;97:125-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Jeon JG, Rosalen PL, Falsetta ML, Koo H. Natural products in caries research: Current (limited) knowledge, challenges and future perspective. Caries Res 2011;45:243-63.  Back to cited text no. 4
Adyanthaya A, Ismail S, Sreelakshmi N. Indian traditional medicinal herbs against dental caries – An unsung past to a bright future. Saudi J Oral Res 2016;1:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
Turagam N, Mudrakola DP. The scope of an alternative medicine to cure oral diseases. Dent 2017;7:7-10.  Back to cited text no. 6

Correspondence Address:
S M Balaji
Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_61_18

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