Caries: what they are and how they can be prevented

Caries is a disease in which part of the dental tissue is destroyed.

Its origin is multifactorial; on the one hand, we have bacteria, which in the presence of bacterial plaque produce acids that destroy dental tissue, and on the other hand, there is genetic predisposition.

Diagnosis of caries

The diagnosis of caries should be made by a specialist in dentistry, since in many cases the presence of caries does not give any symptoms until it is in an advanced stage; hence the importance of regular check-ups with the dentist.

Whenever there is pain with cold or heat, we should think that the tooth may have a cavity.

Caries treatment

The treatment of caries depends on the type of caries:

  • Established caries: its treatment is based on cleaning and removing the decayed tissue, and making a filling, which replaces the part of the tooth that we have had to remove.
  • Incipient caries: treatments that are halfway between prevention and treatment can be carried out. We can harden the tissues with topical treatments, with fluoride and, in some cases, we can make a resin infiltration without the need to make a cavity in the tooth.

When caries advance, there comes a time when they can affect the dental pulp (nerve of the tooth) producing pain, inflammation and even abscesses, which should be treated with antibiotics.

Caries prevention

Caries can be prevented with a lifestyle, having a low cariogenic diet, and maintaining an exquisite hygiene. Another factor in the prevention of caries is the application of fluorides.