Cavities, what are they and how can we avoid them?

Dental caries is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. Here you have some tips to prevent their formationDental caries is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that exist in the oral cavity. These bacteria, in its metabolism, make some acids that can destroy tooth enamel. Once it penetrates the enamel, its progress is unstoppable because the dentin structure under the enamel, is softer. If that is not fixed in these stages, it can invade the pulp (nerve) causing the typical toothache. If this happens, next step would be to do a root canal treatment or extraction if the destruction of this piece is too big.

Tooth enamel is the hardest structure in the body, even more than the cortical bone. However, the quality of this glaze is not the same in all people. The genetics of each person will determine the resistance to have decay and is therefore a key factor.


Other important factors in the development of decay is the existence of dental plaque, the type of food and the amount of fluoride ingested. Dental plaque is the yellow-white material which is deposited on the teeth when they are not properly brushed. Among other things consists of bacteria, cell debris from the mouth and food waste. If it stays too long on teeth enamel it will end penetrating and even more if the enamel is "weak".

Foods that are sweet and sticky like chocolate, cookies, pastries, sweets, etc., are ideal to feed these bacteria since carbohydrates are the base of their diet. Among the cariogenic food the banana and grapes, and all drinks that are carbonated like soda in general must be mention as the most cariogenic. There are many people who drink coke and this solely fact associaged with weak enamel can cause a lot of cavities.

Fluoride is a key element in enamel mineralization, so it is essential to know if the water we drink is adequate fluoride quantities and if not we have to administer correct supplements especially during the period of tooth formation.


* A publication of Dr. Jose Arias Pardiñas, dentist doctor expert in dental implants, gum diseaseand prosthetics. 

Dr. José Pardiñas Arias

Dr. José Pardiñas Arias