Tooth decay, also called caries, is one of our most common diseases in Sweden. To avoid caries, it is important to work preventively and take care of your teeth oral hygiene.
Tooth decay and cavities: What is it?
Caries is an infectious disease in which bacteria that live on the tooth surface form a hole in the tooth. This hole occurs when harmful bacteria in the mouth form acids that corrode the tooth's enamel.
Without treatment risks the hole in the tooth becoming deep enough for the bacteria to penetrate to the nerve of the tooth. The longer you wait before treatment, the greater the risk that the damage to the tooth will be so great that a major intervention is needed. If caries goes untreated and reaches the nerve, a root canal may be necessary. In the worst case, it can go so far that the tooth must be removed completely and, if desired, replaced with a bridge or a dental implants.
Why do you get cavities in your teeth?
Regular sugar, dextrose and fructose increase the risk of caries. Sugar and carbohydrates react with the bacteria in the mouth and start the formation of acid that corrodes the surface of the teeth. Our saliva can dilute the sugar to a certain extent and reduce the harmful effect of the acid.
Another reason for tooth decay is poor oral hygiene. That you don't brush your teeth carefully enough and miss the more difficult-to-reach places in the mouth where plaque easily forms, for example between the teeth or far back in the mouth.
People who suffer from dry mouth and reduced saliva production have an increased risk of caries as the saliva does not have as much opportunity to wash away sugar and acid as well as counteract the bacteria. There are various causes of dry mouth, for example radiation treatment or side effects from drugs, and help is available in the form of saliva-stimulating tablets or sprays.
Symptoms of cavities in the teeth
At a very early stage, caries can be difficult to detect. It can usually be identified by a white spot or stripe on the tooth, but can be difficult to find unless it is on a surface that is directly visible to the outside. At first you don't feel it at all, but when the hole gets deeper, it can start to sting or ice in the teeth. When it turns into a toothache, it may mean that the hole has reached the tooth nerve and that it has then become inflamed.
Tips to avoid cavities in your teeth
- Brush your teeth twice a day
The most basic thing about oral and dental hygiene is to brush your teeth thoroughly. Brush morning and evening with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, preferably with an electric toothbrush. Make sure you reach even the more difficult-to-reach places.
- Reduce the sugar
The saliva needs time to repair the damage caused by the acid to the teeth. Try to reduce your sugar intake and snacking, as sugar and carbohydrates are converted into acid that corrodes the enamel.
- Use dental floss, interdental brushes and fluoride supplements
Remove plaque and bacteria from the hard-to-reach spaces between the teeth with dental floss and interdental brushes. Give the saliva a helping hand with fluoride supplements.
- Avoid dry mouth
The side effects of medicines sometimes cause dry mouth, which impairs the reparative effect of saliva. If you have problems with dry mouth, we recommend trying one of the aids that are available without a prescription at the pharmacy.
- Regular dental visits
In addition to taking care of your oral hygiene yourself, you should regularly visit your dentist to have your teeth and gums examined.
Treat cavities in the teeth at TandCity
Do you suspect you have tooth decay? Book your next dental visit with TandCity in Malmö. TandCity makes high-quality dental care and affordable dental care available to everyone.
“The text above is written for online marketing purposes. The views are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of TandCity.”