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Dental caries

Services > Caries treatment > Dental caries
  • Dental caries
  • Dental caries

Dental caries is also referred to as tooth decay and it is the most frequent human disease. Like the rotten spot on an apple, bacteries decay the dental structure.

It is a breakdown of hard tooth structure caused by bacteria. Bad or irregular oral hygiene as well as unbalanced diet too high in sugars and carbohydrates promote the buildup of dental caries.

Oral hygiene are essential.

Dental caries is a disease of hard tooth structure caused by bacteria which are living in the mouth and are able to multiply in dental plaque. These bacteria metabolise sugars contained in food and release acids which then demineralise the enamel and the dentine.

The bacteria progress further into the tooth substance, and if they reach close to the tooth pulp (nerve), it may cause thermal sensivity and toothache. At an advanced stage, the tooth may react painfully when biting or knocking. Dental caries mostly begins to form in between the teeth and in pits and fissures on the surface of side teeth.

In many cases, it can be recognised by dark shadows on chewing surfaces and between the teeth. To protect your teeth and avoid cavities, regular dental cleanings, sealing chewing surfaces, fluoridation, and last but not least a careful and regular at-home oral hygiene are essential.

If the bacteria reach the dentin close to the nerve (dental pulp), the tooth may become sensitive. At an early stage, these holes can be filled by remineralising the tooth with highly concentrated fluoride gels. Saliva plays a protective role too, in that it dilutes acids, reduces the development of bacteria due to its defense cells, and hardens the tooth enamel by delivering mineral compounds such as calcium and fluoride (remineralisation).