Dental caries, which is also referred to as tooth decay or cavities, is one of the most common and widespread persistent diseases today and is also one of the most preventable. When you eat certain foods, the bacteria on your teeth break them down and produce acids that have the ability to seriously damage the hard tissues of your tooth. The result is the formation of dental caries (cavities).
What Causes Dental Caries?
Typically, dental caries can be spotted on two specific areas of the teeth: occlusal caries, which form on the topmost part of the tooth, where food particles repeatedly come in direct contact with the teeth; and interproximal caries, which are dental caries that form between the teeth. It’s in these two locations where bacteria pose a risk to your oral hygiene. If the teeth and surrounding areas are not cared for properly, the bacteria will begin to digest the sugars leftover from food in your mouth and convert it into acids as a waste product. These acids are strong enough to demineralize the enamel on your teeth and form tiny holes—the first stage of dental caries. As the enamel begins to break down, the tooth loses the ability to reinforce the calcium and phosphate structures of the teeth naturally through saliva properties and, in time, acid penetrates into the tooth and destroys it from the inside out.
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