Development & prevention
Development and prevention of caries
Caries is a bacterial dental disease that starts with an increasing decomposition of the dental hard tissues and leads to a hole in the tooth.
A prerequisite for caries are the existing bacteria in the oral cavity. These microorganisms reproduce themselves and cause plaque that stick on the teeth. The carbohydrates of the food are the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria to multiply. The more sugar they get, the more they grow.
Bacteria excrete acidic metabolites to process sugar. – In combination with other bacteria, rests of saliva and cell residues, these microorganisms build a sticky film (plaque) on the teeth. Plaque is another factor that favours caries. The saliva cleans the teeth naturally. Plaque hinders this natural cleaning. It can be removed hardly with a toothbrush or a mouth rinse. Furthermore on the tooth surface there are depressions and grooves that favour plaque formation.
The saliva cleans the teeth naturally. Plaque hinders this natural cleaning. It can be removed hardly with a toothbrush or a mouth rinse. Furthermore on the tooth surface there are depressions and grooves that favour plaque formation.
Time is another important aspect for the development of caries. Caries emerges over several months. The bacteria of the plaque feed on sugar or carbohydrates. While breaking down the sugar, lactic acid is built as a metabolic product. This is a highly sour product that changes the pH value of the plaque and decays certain minerals of the tooth enamel.
Normally the saliva is able to remineralize itself. In case of plaque, this remineralization is not possible anymore. White spots arise at the affected places. This stage is a precursor of caries. If the tooth enamel will not remineralized (a mineral balance can be made by fluoride application or forgoing of sugar), the decomposition process will extend from the tooth enamel to the dentin. Caries has arisen.