Dental caries, often known as tooth decay, is among the most frequent disorders affecting both children and adults, coming in second only to the common cold in terms of frequency. According to the World Health Organization, dental cavities affect 60-90 percent of children and nearly 100 percent of adults globally. Even though tooth decay is a worldwide epidemic, it is generally preventable via good oral hygiene, a nutritious diet, regular exams, and expert dental cleanings.
What Causes Dental Cavities?
Tooth decay is the outcome of a process that damages the tooth structure over time. Dental plaque, a sticky film that forms on teeth and harbors deadly bacteria that feed on sugar, is to blame for it all. As these bacteria break down sugar, acids are produced, which can de-mineralize or eat away at healthy tooth structure over time. A cavity begins as a little pinpoint flaw on the tooth’s exterior enamel layer, but if left untreated, it will proceed to erode healthy tooth structure, eventually reaching the nerve and important structures inside the tooth through the inner layer of dentin.
A cavity can produce anything from sporadic, minor tooth sensitivity to intense and constant discomfort, depending on the amount of damage to the tooth. To avoid damage to the tooth’s nerve, a dental infection, tooth loss, or more significant effects on one’s overall health, it’s critical to see a dentist for tooth decay treatment.
Some factors that can increase the chances of suffering from dental cavities or tooth decay are:
- Improper oral hygiene
- Intake of a diet that is high in sugar content
- Having a dry mouth
- Suffering from the problem of bruxism
- Receding gums