Dental caries (or dental decay), results from bacteria that live in our mouths and cause enamel erosion. Bacteria comes in many different forms and types and will often accumulate on the surface of our teeth as a substance called plaque. If plaque builds up too much, it can erode the minerals and surfaces of our teeth resulting in dental decay.
There are many stages of dental decay, the earlier the decay is detected the easier it is to fix. If your dental professional detects tooth decay at the early lesion stage, enamel may have lost some of its minerals resulting in the tooth looking chalky and dull. This is easy to fix however, as usually health oral hygiene practices, limitation of sugar and intake of more fluoride can fix the damaged area.
If dental decay is not detected early, the surface of the tooth may collapse to result in a cavity. Cavities are often fixed by using a filling which is placed by a dentist.
There are a few things that you can do to help reduce the likelihood of dental decay occurring:
- Limiting sugar intake
- Practising good oral hygiene
- Increasing water intake