Tooth Anatomy, Decay and Care

Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is the breakdown of teeth due to acids made by bacteria. The cavities may be a sum of different colors from yellow to black. Symptoms may include pain and difficulty with eating. Complications may embrace inflammation of the tissue around the tooth, tooth loss and infection or abscess formation. The source of cavities is acid from bacteria dissolving the hard tissues of the teeth (enamel, dentin and cementum).The acid is made by the bacteria when they break down food debris or sugar on the tooth surface. Simple sugars in food are these bacteria's prime energy source and thus a diet high in simple sugar is a risk factor. If mineral breakdown is better than build up from sources such as saliva, caries results. Risk factors consist of conditions that result in less saliva such as: diabetes mellitus, Sjögren syndrome and some medications. Medications that decrease saliva production contain antihistamines and antidepressants. Dental caries are also allied with poverty, poor cleaning of the mouth, and receding gums causing in exposure of the roots of the teeth

 

  • Smooth surface
  • Pit and fissure decay
  • Root decay

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