Caries is a multifactorial disease produced by the combination of bacteria that produce acids and carbohydrates.

Is the destruction of dental tissue due to the presence of acids produced by bacterias present in the mouth combined with food. This can be restored with a multitude of aesthetic materials and generally are not painful.

From the Dra. Claudia Vargas Dal Santo Dental Clinic we can give you an accurate diagnosis of where your teeth are and whether or not you have cavities, make an appointment for a check-up of the state of your teeth.

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What is a cavity?

Caries is a multifactorial disease that can affect any tooth no matter the age. It causes dentin and enamel demineralization, resulting in permanent damage that can be manifested as a hole or cavity, or black spots on teeth surfaces.
Caries start as a small lesion with the appearance of a white spot which can usually be hard to identify. However, it can quickly evolve into a cavity, expanding until reaching the deepest layers of the teeth and causing pain.

It is essential to understand that teeth do not regenerate or grow back. Therefore, caries damage is irreversible, and the dentist can only fill the cavity with a filling material.

What are the most common symptoms?

Caries

Depending on the severity of the lesion, caries symptoms may vary. In its initial stages, it does not manifest any symptoms or discomfort and can be seen as an almost imperceptible spot.

However, in its more advanced stages, it possesses symptoms such as:

  • Pain caused by some stimuli such as biting or eating sweet food
  • Spontaneous pain without a clear cause
  • Hypersensitivity or pain induced by cold or hot food and beverages
  • Dark spots or holes on the teeth surfaces

In some cases, the cavities are developed on the small space between teeth and can only be discovered through a thorough x-ray examination.

Why does tooth decay appear?

Some of the normal bacteria in the mouth consume and metabolize sugar residues left over after eating. This process induces a biological reaction that results in the demineralization and corrosion of the teeth tissues until creating a visible hole.

Moreover, certain factors can aid the development of cavities by either increasing the number of bacteria or decreasing the efficiency of the teeth’ defense systems against cavities.

Some of these factors include:

  • Dental tartar
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Low fluoride rate
  • Low saliva flow
  • Inefficient brushing technique
Caries

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Caries

When to go to the dentist if you have cavities?

Caries

Since caries does not cause any symptoms in their early stages, it is vital to book regular dentist appointments for professional cleaning and a check-up.

It is advised to book an appointment at least once a year. However, in cases where the patient possesses an important risk factor added, such as diabetes or low saliva flow, it is recommended to attend a consultation at least twice a year.

In case you observe a black spot or feel a hole in a tooth, you should consider going to the dentist as soon as possible.

Complications with Caries

When not treated, caries will continue expanding and creating major tooth destruction.

This can create consequences, such as:

  • Dental infections
  • Severe pain strong enough to interfere with daily life
  • Tooth loss and, as a consequence, bite changes and teeth position alterations

It is essential to understand that cavities usually grow on a pyramidal pattern, having its wide base facing the center of the teeth. Meaning that most times, cavities are larger than what they may seem on the outside.

Caries

Randal Prevention

Caries

Good oral hygiene and regular dentist check-ups are enough to prevent cavities.

However, some other recommendations include:

  • Dental care: Brushing your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. It should be complemented by using a mouthwash and flossing once a day.
  • Well-balanced diet: This gives your teeth the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
  • Lower sugar intake: Sugar is the major risk factor associated with cavities development.

Having the right knowledge will let you easily prevent the development of cavities and maintain good oral health.

Although you may not notice it, caries could be present and cause trouble. Book an appointment today to make sure that your teeth are healthy and cavity-free.

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As it cannot be otherwise, if you have doubts, contact us or you can also continue investigating, for example on wikipedia.