Dental Caries: What Causes Them and Irving dentist

Dental Caries: What Causes Them and Irving dentist

A study reports that 92% of American adults between the age of 20 and 64 have had dental caries. This is a shockingly large percentage which indicates the prevalence of the disease in the U.S. Cavities can often fly under the radar and if left unaddressed, they can quickly develop into permanent problems.

Here’s what you need to know about dental caries and how to prevent them:

What’s Dental Caries?

Dental caries, more commonly known as dental decay, is caused by bacteria that produce harmful acids. The acid then attacks the tooth enamel and the dentin. It dissolves the minerals in the enamel, leaving behind dents and holes.

There are various types of bacteria that live in the mouth, some are harmful and some aren’t. When the harmful bacteria accumulate in the mouth, it forms a sticky layer on the teeth called plaque. The film easily forms in areas like cracks, pits and grooves, between the teeth, near the gums and around dental filling.

The decay must be removed before the bacteria reach the inner layer, and start affecting it. Roots of teeth that may be left exposed due to receding gums can also get affected by the acid.

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It’s difficult to identify caries at an early stage but there are some signs that may indicate tooth decay. Here some symptoms you should watch out for:

  • Spontaneous toothache or pain with no obvious cause,
  • Tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking something acidic, cold, hot, sweet or sticky,
  • Sharp pain while biting,
  • Visible holes or pits in teeth,
  • And brown, black or white staining on teeth.


The first thing you need to do to prevent tooth decay is reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria buildup in your mouth. The easiest way to do this is by developing a habit of brushing and flossing regularly. Brushing and rinsing with antibacterial mouth wash can further help reduce bacteria levels.

Reducing intake of sugary foods can also help prevent plaque from accumulating in the mouth. When you have sugary foods, the mouth remains acidic for a long time, thus making your teeth more susceptible to developing caries. You can chew a xylitol chewing gum instead of one with sugar because xylitol is not a food source for the bacteria. Using a fluoride toothpaste can also work as fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel.

Treatment – Irving dentist

Dental caries can be treated and reversed in its early stages. The above mentioned preventive measures help slow down the decay process, helping the tooth to remineralize, or repair itself.

However, when the condition progresses and a hole is formed in the enamel, only a dentist can treat it. In most cases, the irving dentist recommends filling the tooth. The decayed part of the tooth is removed, and then the cavity is filled.  If the infection has spread through to the inner part of the tooth, the pulp, a root canal may be required.

The early stages of tooth decay may cause no pain and show no symptoms. It can only be detected by regular examinations by dentist. Visit irving dentist, Rabile Family Dentistry in Texas. And get a checkup done at your earliest! For further queries and details, contact us now.

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