SCRIVENER, C. A.: Ottawa, Kan. (May 10, 1939).

 

If caries were a disease due to dietary deficiency, caries would start at the site of nutrition of a tooth, and progress from the inside outward. Caries may be caused by pathologic saliva. A lesion started by dissolution of in­organic matter in enamel may become invaded by bacteria and produce caries in its most common form. It is uncertain whether L. acidophilus occurs in the mouths of caries-susceptibles as a result of the carious process, or whether these organisms cause the caries. Presence in saliva of carbon dioxide, am­monia, sulfocyanates, calcium, phosphorus, chlorides, etc., has little relation to susceptibility. The blood of caries-immunes contains an antibody which is unfavorable for growth of L. acidophilus. Saliva may contain (a) a substance that immunizes teeth against caries, or (b) a substance that dis­integrates one or more inorganic chemical combinations in tooth structure. Most consideration, in enamel caries, has been given to enamel-dissolving powers of acid solutions, but some calcium compounds are not easily dissolved

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