Cause of Dental Caries

The following factors have an important effect on dental health:

1.Individual factors

The risk of decay varies between individu and between different teeth within a mouth. The shape of the jaw and oral cavity, the tooth structure and the quantity and quality of saliva are important to determine why some teeth are more prone than others. For example, some teeth may have holes, small cracks or fissures that allow infiltration of acids and bacteria more easily. In some cases, the structure of the jaw or teeth cleaning makes your teeth or flossing more difficult. The quantity and quality of saliva determines the rate of remineralization of teeth. For example, are usually found relatively few cavities in the lower front of the mouth where the teeth are more exposed to saliva. The type and amount of bacteria that create cavities in the mouth are also relevant. All bacteria can turn carbohydrates into acids, but some families of bacteria such as Streptococci and Lactobacilli produce acids in greater quantities. The presence of such bacteria in the plaque increases the risk of decay. Some people have higher levels of bacteria that cause cavities than others due to improper or inadequate oral hygiene.

2.Oral hygiene and fluoride use

In recent years there has been a reduction in the incidence of caries in most European countries. An increase in oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque and the use of fluoridated toothpaste, combined with regular dental examinations, seems to be responsible for the improvement. Fluoride inhibits demineralisation, encourages remineralisation and increases the hardness of tooth enamel, making it less soluble acids. A proper amount of fluoride helps prevent and control tooth decay. Fluoride can be supplied in a systematic manner through fluoridated public drinking water, other beverages and fluoride supplements. You can also provide topically, directly on the surface of the teeth through toothpaste, mouthwashes, gels and glazes. In some countries, salt, milk or other beverages have fluoride added and also have fluoride supplements in tablet or liquid. It must take into account the level of fluoride in drinking water and food when assessing the need for fluoride supplements. This is especially important in children under 6 whose teeth are still developing. Excessive consumption of fluoride can cause mottling of teeth, which is known as “fluorosis”. Brush use toothpaste with fluoride appears to be the most important factor in the decline of caries observed in many countries. Brushing and flossing help concomitantly to the fluoride application to remove bacteria from the mouth and reduce the risk of caries and periodontal disease.

The regular application of fluoride enamels made by dentists is a measure to prevent tooth decay established in many countries. This practice is especially recommended for children at high risk of decay.

The regular dental checkups can help detect and monitor potential problems. Check and remove plaque regularly can help lower the incidence of caries. If there is little plate, the amount of acid formed is insignificant and does not produce the cavities.

3.Dietary factors

Although the reduction in caries in many countries has been largely related to the use of fluoride and improved dental hygiene, eating habits also play a role in the development of caries.

Fermentable carbohydrates: for many years the message to prevent caries was “not eat too much sugar or sugary foods. In recent decades sugar intake in many countries has remained constant while caries levels have declined. This suggests that when practiced good oral hygiene (eg. Regular brushing using fluoride toothpaste) expresses less the role of sugar in tooth decay.

The advice to replace sugar with starchy foods (starch) to prevent caries is of questionable value. We now know that any food containing fermentable carbohydrates (these are sugar wafers) can contribute to tooth decay. This means that, like sweets and candies, pasta, rice, fries, fruit and even bread can begin the process of demineralization. For example, a study which identified the acid production capacity of various starchy foods including pasta, rice and bread, found that these foods produced the same amount of acid solution 10% sucrose (sugar table). Another study found that acid formation in plaque after eating white bread or potato chips was greater and lasted longer than after drinking sucrose.

Characteristics of food: the physical characteristics of a food, especially how it sticks to the teeth also affect the process of tooth decay. Foods that stick to teeth increase the risk of caries, compared with food that disappear from the mouth quickly. For example crisps and biscuits stick to teeth longer than other foods, like candy and sweets. This can occur because the sweets and candies contain soluble sugars that break down more quickly by saliva. The longer you stay the carbohydrate-containing foods around the teeth, bacteria have more time to produce acid and the greater the possibility of demineralization.

Frequency of consumption: there are debates about the relative importance of frequency of consumption of carbohydrates and their relation to decay. As in the case of the relationship between diet and caries, this relationship seems to weaken with the adoption of good oral hygiene and fluoride.

Whenever a food bites or sipping a drink containing carbohydrates, any decay-causing bacteria that are present in the teeth haye begins to produce acids, initiating demineralization. This process continues for 20 or 30 minutes after eating or drinking, or longer if food debris trapped locally or remain in the mouth. In periods between the different intakes (food and drinking) the saliva acts to neutralize acids and help the remineralization process. If you eat or drink frequently, do not give time to the enamel of the teeth to decay completely and remineralisation begin to occur. So eat and drink continuously throughout the day is not advisable. The best advice is to limit the number of intakes (consume foods/drinks) with carbohydrates to no more than 6 times a day and make sure they brush their teeth using a fluoride toothpaste twice a day.

The baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries is a disease in which children’s teeth are damaged due to frequent and prolonged exposure to beverages with sugars, usually from a bottle. In particular, the problems increase when the children go to bed with bottles of formula or juice. The flow of saliva is greatly reduced during sleep and sweet liquids remain around the teeth for long periods of time. This creates the perfect environment for the development of dental caries.

Protective foods: some foods help protect against cavities. For example, aged cheeses increase the flow of saliva. Cheese also contains calcium, phosphate and casein, a milk protein that protects against demineralisation. Ending a meal with a piece of cheese helps counteract the action of acids produced by carbohydrate-rich foods consumed in the same meal. Milk also contains calcium, phosphate and casein, and milk sugar, lactose, is less cariogenic (caries causing) than other sugars. However decay found in children who were breast-fed and who ask frequently.

Products “friends” of the teeth

Products good for the teeth are produced using ingredients to soften that can not be fermented by oral bacteria. This category includes intense sweeteners such as saccharin, cyclamate, acesulfame-K and aspartame, and sugar substitutes such as isomalt, sorbitol and xylitol.

The sugarless gum use these sweeteners. The sweet taste and chewing stimulate saliva flow, helping to prevent cavities. These gums can contain minerals such as calcium, phosphate and fluoride to improve the repair process. Some studies have reported that sugarless gum after a meal consumed accelerate the cleanup of debris and reduce the rate of caries development in children. The products “friends” of the teeth have to meet specific tests for approval of “safe for teeth.”