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Dental caries is one of the most common oral diseases. Caries, also known as tooth decay or cavities.
Cavities are caused by the acid produced by bacteria in dental plaque. Over time the acid dissolves the tooth’s hard tissues (enamel and dentine). Initially, the cavity is limited to the enamel but when decay progresses and reaches the inside of the tooth, the dentine, a filling is usually required.
Every time you eat or drink, bacteria in your mouth start to produce acids which dissolves part of the tooth’s hard tissue Your saliva helps by washing away excess food and neutralizes the acid. Minerals from the saliva and fluoride toothpaste repair the damaged hard tissue. Sweet food and drinks, frequent snacking between meals or a poor oral hygiene leads to increased acid production by the bacteria. This higher and frequent acid production will not give the tooth a chance to recover between meals and a cavity can develop. Good oral hygiene is necessary to prevent dental plaque build-up , but fluoride and diet are equally important factors in the development of tooth decay.
Cleaning between the teeth is usually not recommended until all the permanent teeth have emerged completely. If your dentist or hygienist has advised you to start cleaning between the teeth earlier than that, you should, of course, follow this recommendation.