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Caries

What is tooth decay?

Caries means tooth decay. The decay can be created by plaque staying on the teeth. Tiny bacteria (which are in the plaque) cause cavities. In its original form the bacteria (which feed from the sugars in the diet) create acids which “sit” on the plaque and soften the tooth surface.  The acids dissolve the basic components of the surface of the tooth (enamel).  The decay primarily affects children, but adults are in danger as well. 

Decay appears in the following formats:

First degree caries: It is the most common form which destroys the original layer of tooth enamel. The patient may  not see it at an early stage.  Only the doctor can detect it using appropriate tools.

Second degree caries: In this case the decay breaks down the enamel (hard outer part of the tooth) and enters the inside of the tooth dentin without affecting the blood vessels and nerves.

Third-degree caries: Here the decay has destroyed  the enamel and dentin and it  has affected the blood vessels and nerves, without however causing a cyst on the bone around the root.  Special treatment is necessary (endodontics, root canal treatment) in order to save the tooth.

Fourth-degree caries: In this case the tooth decay has influenced the entire tooth and the inflammation which has occurred has also affected  the surrounding area of the root of the tooth by creating an abscess.

Decay of roots: as we age, the gums shrink and expose parts of teeth not covered by enamel, which are more vulnerable to decay.

Decay on the edges of old fillings: displayed around old fillings or pockets. These points accumulate plaque which in time create cavities.
The decay threatens teeth seriously. If it is not treated in time it can ruin your teeth, destroy the sensitive nerves located in the center and create an abscess, endodontic infection. The abscess is treated only with root canal therapy, surgery or tooth extraction.

Caries