Dental Caries: definition, causes and prevention

Dental caries (also known as tooth decay or dental cavities) is a disease that damages the structures of teeth.

There are two types of caries:

  • caries found on smooth surfaces,
  • caries found in pits and fissures.

How dental caries is caused

Caries is caused by bacteria which can be normally found in the mouth. The bacteria produce acids that affect pH levels in the mouth.

In fact, the acids are produced from the carbohydrates, such as sucrose and glucose, which are fermented by bacteria. The acids formed damage teeth by dissolving minerals from the tooth.

This process is called demineralisation.


How to prevent dental caries

Actually, caries can only affect teeth when the process of demineralisation exceeds remineralisation. Thus, it is vitally important to advocate preventative measures. These include:

  • regular oral hygiene;
  • remineralisation of teeth by the use of fluoride;
  • decrease of sugar and sugary foods consumption;
  • minimization of snacking and sipping drink containing carbohydrates;
  • visits to the dentist twice a year.


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  1. michael obinna
    November 19th, 2011| 10:07 am

    I love the explanation about the Dental Caries,it’s very interesting.

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