Tooth decay is a condition in which the enamel, its hard outer layer, is damaged and decayed. Tooth decay can occur in different age groups and affect children, adolescents, and adults.
A thin, sticky bacterium called plaque builds up constantly on the teeth. When your food or drink contains sugar, plaque bacteria will produce an acid that attacks tooth enamel. Plaque adhesions will keep these acids in contact with your teeth, which can damage the enamel over time; In this case, it is likely to puncture the tooth tissue or the so-called worm corrosion. Tooth decay is more common in children but can also occur in adults due to age-related changes.
Gum disease or excessive distance between gums and the teeth can cause plaque bacteria to reach the roots of your teeth. Sources of our teeth are covered with cementum, a material softer than enamel. Tooth roots are also more vulnerable to decay and are more sensitive to cold and heat. Root caries are more common in people over 50 years of age.
The roots of Superficial caries in middle-aged people may also occur slightly more than others. Many of these people have this problem due to lack of adequate care and having one or more filled teeth. These fillings may disappear over the years, and tooth cavities may reappear. Accumulation of bacteria in these holes can cause acid to build up and cause tooth decay.
Causes of tooth decay
As mentioned, foods and beverages high in sugar play a significant role in tooth decay; in fact, you risk damaging your teeth for up to 20 minutes each time you eat or drink sugary foods. However, caries is not the only cause of this problem, and the following can also be mentioned as causes of tooth decay:
- Poor oral hygiene
Not brushing regularly can cause plaque bacteria to grow in your mouth and attack tooth enamel.
- Emptying filled teeth
As mentioned, the materials used to fill teeth may be lost over time, and the tooth cavity will be a good place for bacteria to grow.
- Dry mouth
A dry mouth is another cause of tooth decay. Saliva can flush out plaque bacteria and interfere with the acid formation process. Therefore, if your mouth is dry and there is little saliva in it, plaque and other bacteria will form faster.
- Medical conditions
Some cancer treatment procedures that affect the neck and head with radiation therapy may help speed up the caries process by drying out the mouth.
How to prevent tooth decay
Preventing tooth decay is inexpensive and can be done with a series of simple daily steps. The following steps can be taken to avoid tooth decay:
- Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing between teeth using floss or toothpicks
- Limit foods and drinks high in sugar
- See your dentist regularly
tooth decay on the front tooth
Although anterior tooth decay is less common than posterior, it doesn’t mean that the front teeth are immune to corrosion or worming. Because the front teeth are more accessible and have a better chance of being cleaned than the back teeth, we are less likely to see front tooth decay, but in theory, the front and rear teeth have an equal chance of corrosion.
Wisdom tooth decay
Wisdom teeth are the two teeth of the third mill that grow later than other ones. These two teeth, like other teeth, are at risk of caries, but because wisdom teeth are either younger than all teeth or are usually extracted before total growth, wisdom tooth decay is less common than other teeth.