J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2021 Apr 27;35(2). doi: 10.23812/20-747-A. [Epub ahead of print]

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Focus on the cariogenic process: microbial and biochemical interactions with teeth and oral environment

Dipalma G#1, Inchingolo AD#1, Inchingolo F#1, Charitos IA2, Di Cosola M3, Cazzolla AP3.

Author information

1  Department of Interdisciplinary Medicine, Dentistry Unit, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
2  Emergency/Urgent Department, National Poisoning Center, Riuniti University Hospital of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.
3  Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Riuniti University Hospital of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.
#  Contributed equally


This paper aims to describe the biochemical interactions between teeth and the oral environment that occur during the caries process, hence it covers all the steps related to physico-chemical reactions, including the most up-to-date theoretical basis in the clinical application for the prevention and treatment of caries. The terms ‘demineralization’ and ‘remineralization’ that characterise this process were analysed, as well as the role of the microbiota in its interaction with the hard surface of the teeth. The biochemical mechanisms that lead to the onset of carious lesions and those that occur during the healing and repair of such lesions are listed.


dental caries, dental diseases, microbiology, microbiota, oral biochemistry, saliva

Publication types

  • Review

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