Dental Cavities often referred as Caries are holes in the teeth that are caused as a result of tooth decay. The two main factors that contribute to tooth decay are – bacteria and diet rich in sugar and starch. Food rich in sugar and starch are digested by the bacteria that live in the mouth and turn them into acids. These acids combine with the food remains, saliva and bacteria to form plaque. This plaque attaches itself to the teeth dissolving the surface of the teeth hence creating cavities. Another factor that affects tooth decay is the amount of fluoride in our toothpaste. Genetic factors such as tooth size and shape, tooth position, enamel thickness etc also play an important role in tooth decay. Treatment strategy varies depending on the extent of tooth decay. Fluoride treatments, tooth filling, crowns, dental implants are some of the treatment methods used. Maintaining a healthy diet by limiting the frequency and amount of starch and sugar used in the diet can prevent tooth decay to a large extent.
Authored By Dr. Shylaja S Prasad - Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics, Bangalore