Dental Caries: Their Cause and Prevention

Tooth decay is a process in which the enamel of the teeth is completely destroyed. Proper brushing and flossing have proved their worth every time and that is why it is highly recommended to follow proper oral hygiene. So without much adieu let us learn about this dental problem and steps to prevent it from happening.

As mentioned before tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth enamel. This dental problem can affect children, teens and adults. The entire procedure of decay starts with plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, which is constantly forming on our teeth. When we eat or drink foods or beverages which are high on sugars, acid is produced by the bacteria in plaque. This acid starts to attack the tooth enamel causing dental caries. Now since the plaque is a sticky substance it keeps these acids in contact with your teeth, and over a period of time the enamel starts to break down.

The types of dental caries formed can be broken down into two major groups:

1. Pit and fissure dental caries:

These types of dental caries are found quite often on the chewing surfaces of the teeth located at the back, and the rear portion of the teeth located in the front. Our tooth is made out of multiple sections of enamel, and at the intersection of these sections, pits and grooves are present. Now these pits and grooves trap plaque which eventually leads to tooth decay. However with the proper application of pit and fissure sealants, a toughened plastic material is applied. This helps in sealing the grooves and pits when the teeth have erupted. It eventually prevents this type of dental caries. Now that you have sealant on your teeth, the chances of using restorations (fillings) on those surfaces of the teeth go down to zilch.

2. Smooth surface dental caries:

These dental caries are found along the Gumline. The other location where they can be found is where two teeth touch called as interproximal or the space between teeth provided plaque forms in these areas. The best way to get rid of the smooth surface caries is proper use of dental floss. You can also use a manual or power toothbrush along the Gumline which can prevent dental caries in that area as well.

There are so many options available which can prevent caries. When you purchase a toothbrush just check whether it has proper angulation and bristles which can help remove plaque. There are certain power brushes which are not that costly yet effective in removing plaque. The best person to talk to about all this is your dental hygienist or dentist. They will help you select the best toothbrush which will be beneficial for plaque removal.

When selecting toothpaste, make sure you see whether it is ADA approved or not. These toothpastes contain fluoride which is an excellent way to prevent dental caries. Fluoride gives a protective coating which prevents the acid attack from plaque. However speak to your dental professional and they will recommend some really good brands which work wonders.

The cases of dental caries have reduced a great deal thanks to the technological advancement in the medical field. Everyone suffers from cavity in their lifetime and that is all because of the erratic and unhealthy eating habits. However with little vigilance such as visiting your dentist and making sure that you follow proper dental habits you can certainly avoid such dental problems.