Automatic cleansing of the contact points and epithelial margins is an important condition in natural immunity to caries (and pyorrhea). Salivary ptyalin detaches carbohydrate food debris; also the carbohydrate radicle of mucin in dental plaques. These actions can be accelerated by body baths in ultraviolet rays.
References: Brit. Den. J., 1928, 1935.
TANCHESTER, DAVID, and SORRIN, SIDNEY : Montefiore Hospital, New York City (June 16, 1938).
Neglect of the mouths of normal persons and of tuberculous patients has been responsible, in marked degree, for incidence and progress of caries. Dental disorders in tuberculous persons bear no direct relationship to the tuberculous process. There is no more caries in tuberculous individuals than in healthy persons. Even in extreme debilitation, in patients suffering from advanced pulmonary tuberculosis, there is no unusual increase in incidence of caries. Cervical erosions, although present in some cases, do not occur in greater abundance in tuberculous than in healthy persons.
Caries and erosions—in patients who, after admission to the hospital, used lozenges and candies to relieve dryness of the mouth and to prevent excessive coughing—were traced to this use, high sugar contents being the causative factor. This finding may explain why some observers have associated caries and erosions with tuberculosis. In conditions of chronic encephalitis, when cavities are prepared or erosion is treated, in vital teeth, less pain is felt even when pulp is exposed.
References: N. Y. J. Den., 1936, 1937; J. Den. Res., 1937.