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Our Immune System Could Actually Be Contributing to Dental Cavities

April 22, 2019
by David Nield, Science Alert


The immune system does essential work in keeping us alive and healthy, but when it malfunctions it can cause problems – and there’s new evidence that one of those problems could be dental cavities.

Researchers have found that tooth decay is potentially partly caused by bacteria enlisting the unwitting help of immune cells known as neutrophils, with cavities and damage to fillings the collateral damage of the battle between these neutrophils and bacteria.

Neutrophils are deployed through the gums to fight off infection – but while they can’t damage teeth on their own, they do appear to cause bacteria to release an acidic self-defence mixture. In turn, that acid causes damage to our teeth.

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