Tooth Decays




Tooth decay is a dental, bacterial disease that can be seen with brown or black color in the occlusal surfaces of the teeth, and chalk white or only detectable by x-ray in interfaces where they are in contact with each other. The tooth decays are mostly perceived as dental cavities which are seen together with dark teeth colorations. If the tooth decays progress, there can occur dental cavities in which the food residues can build-up. If the tooth is not treated, initially sensitiveness to cold and hot food and drinks, then a permanent pain in tooth arise.




On the hard tissues in mouth and on teeth; there is a layer that is called bacteria plaque which consists of bacteria, food residues, and an adhesive substance called dextran excreted by the bacteria for gripping to the tooth. The bacteria inside the tooth plaque release the organic acids by digesting the small food residue. Since these acids stay in contact with the teeth because of dextran, they resolve the mineral structure of the tooth enamel and cause decay.




To remove the food residues that stick on the teeth, they should be brushed at least for 3 minutes, after breakfast and before going to bed at night. Especially in individuals whose teeth arrangement is tight, the food residues build-up in the side surfaces that the teeth are in contact with each other cannot be cleaned properly even with regular brushing. In order to prevent tooth decays in these areas, dental floss should be used at least once a day after brushing. Since the decay preventing and reducing effect of the fluoride is proved, a fluoride-containing toothpaste should be used. The toothbrush should be kept in a way that no bacteria can build-up on it and should be replaced at certain intervals.


Consuming sugar-containing foods between the main meals should be avoided and the teeth should be brushed when they are eaten. If it is not possible to brush the teeth, chewing gums bearing a tooth-friendly emblem will be suitable. Beginning from the primary dentition, the children should be taken to the dentist periodically and a protective sealant or fluoride application can be done on their teeth if necessary. A decay risk detection can be performed by visiting the dentist regularly at least once in every six months. In this way, the tooth decays can be detected and treated in the beginning phase without creating any problem. Once the chalk white areas or black or brown spots are seen on teeth, dentist should be visited in no time. If the above adviceare heeded, tooth decay is surely preventable.