Dental cavities or caries is one of the most common of all disorders. See how cavities start and their effect on the health of your teeth in this educational animation.
From our partner site on diet & exercise, MyDietExercise.com.
Dental cavities or caries is one of the most common of all disorders.
It is an infection caused by a combination of carbohydrate-containing foods and bacteria that live in our mouths.
The bacteria are contained in a film called "plaque". Plaque begins to accumulate on teeth within 20 minutes after eating. If the plaque is not removed thoroughly and routinely tooth decay will occur.
Although there are many different types of bacteria in our mouths, only a few are associated with cavities
Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus casei and acidophilus, and Actinomyces naeslundii are some of them
When these bacteria find carbohydrates, they consume them to produce acids. The acids demineralize the hard part of the tooth (enamel and dentin) and eventually reach the pulp chamber.
Cavities are most prominent on the back molars, just above the gum line on all teeth, and at the edges of fillings.
The common symptoms of caries are:
Treatment of a cavity generally consists of two steps:
Last Updated: Fri, Jan 07, 2005