ATKINS, A. PAUL: Des Moines, Iowa (Aug. 3, 1934).

Irrespective of race, diet, and other conditions, an apparent state of im­munity to caries exists in some individuals. Immunity and the alkalinity of saliva appear to be correlated. Immunity has certainly been present for 50 years in the author’s own mouth, in which no caries has appeared in either permanent or deciduous teeth. His unregulated diet has ” leaned ” toward carbohydrates and forbidden sweets; he has been a milk consumer all his life through choice. He has no reason to ascribe his immunity to heredity. Hypothesis: Some salivas contain an enzyme, or anti-enzyme, directly con­trolling conditions of immunity to caries.

The varied mouth flora, and remnants of different foods, present a chain of endless possibilities. (Resting seeds contain practically no enzymes until sprouting begins ; different methods of handling and preparing a cereal could change the results.) There is a relation between B. acidophilus and caries, but whether direct or indirect is unknown. Yeast is generally present in caries, in varying amounts. Potassium thiocyanate is present in saliva in caries immunes and susceptibles alike : it is highest in saliva of smokers. Certain bone diseases are accompanied by in­crease in phosphatase in the blood corresponding to their severity. In caries, enamel having no contact with the blood supply, and no odontoblasts to receive reparative stimuli from enzyme activity, succumbs while dentin can show only feeble resistance. Teeth that are mottled and denuded by fluorine resist caries better than teeth in many ” normal ” mouths having anatomically perfect dentitions. Preliminary observations with water containing 5 parts per million of sodium fluoride, used by twenty patients on a tooth-brush as a dentifrice, indicate marked reduction in number of oral bacteria and also definite arrest of caries.

Reference: None submitted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *