What is Tooth Decay and its Causes?

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Caries is one of the most common diseases of the oral cavity. When it occurs, tooth enamel is damaged first, and then, if treatment is not started, and dentin (hard tooth tissue). The first sign of caries is a dark spot on the enamel. If you ignore its appearance, the spot may increase in diameter, and then the pathology spreads deeper into the tooth tissue, resulting in a “hole”. When tooth decay destroys enamel and affects dentin, it reaches the pulp (soft tooth tissue), which can lead to very serious consequences. Depending on the location of the lesion, fissure caries (occurs in the deepening of the tooth), proximal (at the joints of the teeth) and cervical caries (near the gum or under it) are classified.

There are also caries of the front teeth, which especially affects the aesthetics of the smile. Usually in the latter case, even those who are panicky afraid of doctors are not drawn to the dentist. To avoid a visit to a specialist, you should regularly examine the oral cavity yourself. If you notice caries at an early stage, you can get rid of it without the help of a dentist. If the disease has already passed to the middle stage, a deepening can be seen in the tooth – usually it is easily palpated by the tongue. However, it should be remembered that a “hole” can arise not only due to caries: the doctor will make an accurate diagnosis.

Causes of Caries: The main cause of tooth decay is bacteria that produce acids that flush fluoride and calcium from tooth tissue. Microorganisms begin to multiply and destroy the tooth within 1-2 hours after cleaning the oral cavity, leading to the formation of plaque. Inadequate salivation can also contribute to the development of caries. The fact is that the mineral substances of saliva are able to partially neutralize acids produced by bacteria – when little saliva is formed, acids quickly destroy teeth. Also, saliva partially removes plaque. Xerostomia (“dryness” in the mouth) may be a consequence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and nasal breathing disorders in various diseases. In addition, the cause of caries can be the frequent use of sweets, and the effect is not the amount of glucose eaten, but the time of its contact with the teeth. Improper nutrition generally negatively affects oral health. 

By the way, Caries, among other things, can be caused by a malfunction of the immune system. The cause of the failure can be stress. The latter, by the way, is also able to slow down the processes of mineralization in the oral cavity.

If signs of caries are found, nutrition should be adjusted, increased attention should be paid to oral hygiene, and toothpastes with a high content of calcium or fluoride should be preferred. It is imperative to consult a dentist. Only timely treatment at Los Angeles orthodontics of tooth decay will help preserve the tooth.