Dental caries is a bacterial disease that affects about 90% of the population. The presence of certain bacteria associated with poor diet and poor oral hygiene contribute to the development of dental caries.
All teeth can be affected, and the most susceptible are molars and premolars, due to their anatomy with irregularities (grooves and fissures) that facilitate the accumulation of food debris, which when not removed, together with bacteria, produce acids that initiate the demineralization of the tooth structure.
As enamel is one of the hardest tissues in our body, the development of caries is usually slow and initially asymptomatic. The increase in symptoms is proportional to the proximity of the pulp, which is the dental structure where the tooth’s nerve is located. As time goes by the pain arises from sweets, cold and hot.
Its treatment is simple and consists of the removal of dental caries and the restoration of the tooth with the most suitable material, which may be a composite (tooth-colored restoration) or amalgam.
Their durability is variable because it depends on the oral hygiene and food habits of each person, however the amalgam is more resistant.
To prevent tooth decay, you should:
- Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day after meals;
- Pass the floss between your teeth, once a day, preferably at night;
- Have balanced eating habits, avoiding foods with too much sugar;
- Perform a crack seal and take fluoride supplements;
- If you can’t brush your teeth at any meal, you can chew a sugar-free chewing gum for 10 min, but don’t forget that this is not a substitute for brushing!;
- Visit your dentist regularly.