What is caries?

Caries is damage to the two outer layers of the tooth – enamel and dentin. A cavity or lesion appears on the surface of the tooth, which is actually the caries.

Minor caries, where only the tooth enamel is compromised, do not cause pain and are not noticeable with a simple look in the mouth.

In larger caries, food residues accumulate and the inner part of the tooth – the pulp becomes irritated by the toxins released by the bacteria.

The pulp can also be irritated by cold, hot, sour or sweet foods or cause a toothache.

Caries are caused by the streptococcal bacteria, which produces an acid that dissolves tooth enamel.

The bacteria feeds on the carbohydrate deposits on the teeth, which are called dental plaque.

To prevent dental caries teeth should be regularly brushed daily using floss to clean the interdental spaces.

You should use antibacterial mouthwash after every meal and have regular dental checkups. If caries does appear, the tooth must be cleaned of the streptococcal bacteria.

The cavity should be closed with a suitable durable material to prevent future destruction of the tooth tissue.

What are the symptoms?

White spots

In the initial stages of tooth decay, white, flat spots may appear on the teeth. They are the result of enamel demineralization, which can be compensated if appropriate remineralization steps are taken.

Enamel destruction

Once tooth decay progresses, bacteria can continue to dissolve tooth enamel. This can lead to the formation of holes or cavities in the tooth structure.


When decay penetrates the dentin (the softer layer below the enamel), the tooth can become sensitive to various stimuli such as heat, cold, sweet or sour. This may cause pain or discomfort.

Dark spots

More advanced tooth decay can cause dark or brown spots to appear on the teeth. These are areas where the tooth structure is destroyed and cavities can form.


When the decay reaches deeper layers of the tooth and begins to affect the nerve tissues, intense pain can occur. However, this may already be a slower stage in the development of the disease.

It is important to note that caries can be painless in its initial stages and can only be noticed during regular check-up visits to a dentist.

Regular oral hygiene and visits to the dentist can significantly reduce the risk of developing cavities and help with early detection and treatment.

Treatment of caries

In the early stages, the process of caries formation can be stopped, but in this case the enamel is compromised, but not completely, and the bacteria has not penetrated the dentin.

In this situation, by taking fluoride, the tooth enamel can be remineralized.

But when the enamel is severely compromised and the caries has reached the dentin, then there is nothing left but for the dentist to clean the cavity that has opened and fill the tooth.

During the cleaning, doctors use a machine to remove the bacteria-infected tissue in the cavity of the caries.

Since it is possible that during the process of removing the damaged tissue, the patient may feel pain, a local anesthetic is administered.

More modern offices use lasers that vaporize compromised tooth tissue without the need for physical contact with it.

After cleaning, a filling is placed in the open tooth, which can be amalgam or composite. – polymer.

How to protect yourself from tooth decay?

To protect yourself from tooth decay and maintain healthy oral hygiene, you can introduce several good practices and habits into your daily routine.

It is important to realize that dental and oral care plays a key role in maintaining optimal oral health and preventing the development of tooth decay.

  1. Regular brushing and flossing: Flossing between the teeth is just as important as brushing the visible surfaces of the teeth. This helps remove remaining food particles and bacteria that could otherwise contribute to the development of tooth decay.

  2. Choosing the right toothpaste: Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as this mineral helps remineralize enamel and strengthen its protective function.
  3. Limit the consumption of sugary foods: Sugary foods and drinks create a suitable environment for bacteria to multiply in the oral cavity. Limit their consumption and prefer healthy foods and drinks.

  4. Rinsing your mouth after eating: After consuming sweet or sour foods and drinks, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the concentration of acids and bacteria.

  5. p>
  6. Controlled use of xylitol gums: Gums containing xylitol can be beneficial by helping to maintain a balance in the oral flora and reducing the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

  7. Regular dental visits: Be sure to visit the dentist regularly for professional cleaning, examination and plaque removal.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button