Tooth Cavities

Saliva, plaque and bacteria are naturally present in the oral cavity. Saliva helps maintain a healthy balance in the mouth by removing food particles and reducing the levels of acid. If the balance is distorted by high levels of sweet and sugary food, a type of bacteria called Streptococcus mutans start spreading and damaging the enamel of the teeth.

At first, the bacteria affects only the surface layer of the tooth and it can be restored to health using lots of fluoride and minerals found in saliva. However, if the decay spreads further, the damage is permanent and a visit to the dentist will be needed in order to clean the affected tooth and apply a dental filler.

People who constantly have a dry mouth are more prone to developing dental cavities, since there is an insufficient amount of saliva to ensure a healthy balance in the mouth. Moreover, new teeth in children are also more likely to develop cavities.

To minimise the risk of decay, patients are recommended to avoid sweet foods, brush teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride twice a day, floss daily and visit the dentist regularly.

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