Dental caries (Tooth Decay or Cavities)-Oldest known disease of mankind

What is dental caries?

Dental caries also known as tooth decay or cavities are causes by localizing breakdown of tooth structure caused by specific bacterial activities associated with sugar and exposure time.Due to bacterial activities tooth begins to dissolve its contents and becomes yellow to black in color.

Associated bacteria with dental caries

Normally mouth contains a wide number of bacteria but out of them, only specific species of bacteria are associated with dental caries.Out of them Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus are most common. These bacteria convert sugar, glucose, fructose into acids like Lactic acid which dissolves tooth surface.

Types of dental caries

There are two types of dental caries
  1. Pit and fissure caries
  2. Smooth surface caries
Pit and fissure caries are that caries which spread along the pit and fissure, these are small grooves present of tooth surface

  Smooth surface caries can occur on smooth surfaces of the tooth.It can also be seen at the surface where two teeth contacts (also known as proximal contacts) and at the gum line.

Food and risk factors for dental caries

  1. Individuals who frequently have sugars in there in between meals like candies chocolates sweets etc are most prone to dental caries
  2. Poor oral hygiene maintenance
  3. It is also associated with an ill-fitted dental prosthesis which has rough surfaces which may be the reason for accumulating plaque.
  4. Persons affected with Gastric reflux ( GERD).
  5. Low immunity
  6. Low salivary secretion
  7. Pregnancy

Prevention and treatment of dental caries

Since it is a very common mouth problem of humans so everyone should maintain good oral hygiene.If you do this you already have reduced the chances of getting cavities.Brush your teeth twice a day not only on the visible tooth surfaces but also on the hidden areas.Where you can not reach with toothbrush use floss (click here to know more about flossing) In case if you already have cavities visit your dentist as soon as possible to get treatment.

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