Caries: how is it formed and what are the forms of prevention? It hurts?

Caries is a problem faced worldwide. Who has never heard that you need to brush your teeth before bed so you don’t have a black speck on your tooth?

Although it seems harmless, it can result in physical and aesthetic discomfort for those who have it.

From pain to stained teeth, it is necessary to do the appropriate treatment to eliminate the symptoms.

Check now everything about the problem and how to treat it:

What is caries?

Caries is the result of the process that the tooth goes through when it is corroded by the action of bacteria that, naturally, are present in the mouth. It is considered an infectious disease that, if left untreated, progresses and compromises the structure of the tooth.

When there is an accumulation of food scraps, mainly sugar, in the area of ​​the teeth, these bacteria join the residues, producing an acid that gradually corrodes the dental structure.

This forms those little black spots on the teeth and, if it is deep, it can cause frequent pain as well.

Popularly, there are different forms of cavities. Here are a few:

Feeding bottle

The so-called bottle caries or breast caries occurs with babies or young children who are still breastfeeding.

After breastfeeding, if the teeth are not brushed, the milk remains around the child’s teeth. And this occurs both with breast milk and formulated, forming an acid and, later, caries.

Childhood caries

In childhood, it is common for children to have some form of caries. Whether by not brushing your teeth or by eating a lot of sweets, the problem is present in the so-called baby teeth.

Often, because they are temporary teeth, there is the thought that there is no need for great care, as they will be replaced by permanent ones.

The big problem is that, if left untreated, caries can affect even those who are yet to be born, causing future problems.

Therefore, it is necessary to take care from childhood, making regular visits to the dentist.

Deep caries

Deep caries is an advanced stage of tooth corrosion.

It occurs when the problem has not been treated and has exceeded the tooth surface, reaching deeper tissues such as dental pulp – soft tissue that extends to the root of the tooth.

When this region is affected by caries, it is necessary to do the so-called root canal treatment.

Hidden caries

Hidden caries is one that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

This type occurs when the outside of the tooth looks healthy, but the inside is corroded.

To detect it, a radiograph is required.

Caries between teeth

Caries between the teeth is, as the name implies, the one that occurs between the teeth, being generally more difficult to be detected with the naked eye.

The main cause is the lack of dental floss, which is often forgotten at the time of brushing.

One way to see if there is a problem is to floss the area. If it comes out frayed, there may be some corrosion process in place.

It is important to consult a professional, as only he / she will know how to make the diagnosis correctly.

What causes tooth decay?

One of the main reasons for caries is not brushing your teeth after meals. The problem is the result of a combination of factors, such as poor oral hygiene, high consumption of sugary foods and the lack of periodic visits to the dentist, which favor their appearance.

In addition, even those who brush their teeth properly after meals are vulnerable if this cleaning is not adequate. Not using dental floss, suitable toothpastes and products with no fluoride – a mineral that strengthens and protects teeth – also has an impact on their appearance.

Genetics can have an influence on the development of caries, if there is a predisposition for teeth to deteriorate, however, the main factor is still brushing and diet.

What are the symptoms and how do I know if I have cavities?

The symptoms of caries are, in general, characteristic, among them:

  • Toothache;
  • Intensified pain when eating sweets and drinking cold and hot drinks;
  • Black speck in the tooth;
  • Sensitivity in the region;
  • Swelling of the gums;
  • Whitish spots;
  • Dark coloring;

It is worth remembering that depending on the stage of caries, different symptoms may appear. Although recurrent, it may be that the pain is felt only at an advanced level of the problem, as well as other manifestations.

How to deal with?

The treatment of caries depends on the stage at which the problem is.

If it is in an early stage, when there was no damage to the tooth enamel, only the local application of a sealant is enough.

On the other hand, if the caries has already reached the enamel and has corrupted part of the tooth, it is necessary to make a restoration.

The restoration consists of removing the affected part of the tooth and, soon after, filling it with some material such as resin or amalgam (mixture of metals), so that it returns to its natural shape.

Does caries hurt?

-Yeah . Depending on the stage the problem is in, it can hurt.

This is because, if left untreated, it reaches deeper and deeper tissues. Thus, the person begins to have sensitivity in the region. This sensitivity occurs due to the wear of the tooth enamel and, thus, the exposure of the dentin – tissue that is just below the tooth enamel.

This region has nerve endings and blood vessels. Therefore, without protection of the dental structure, they generate pain.

When caries reach more advanced stages, inflammation of the pulp – tissue located below the dentin and extending to the root of the tooth – can also occur, causing severe pain.

How to prevent?

In addition to regular visits to the dentist, hygiene is a key factor in preventing caries.

In general, foods that have large amounts of sugar, after ingestion are vulnerable to the acid formed by the bacterial plaque.

Therefore, it is important to brush your teeth after meals, to reduce the action of the acid. Using fluoride toothpaste can help, since the element helps to strengthen the structure of the teeth.

Mouthwashes are also welcome, as they act to reduce the bacteria that cause the problem.

Another point is to decrease the daily frequency of consumption of sugary foods, as this will decrease the amount of formation and exposure of these acids in the tooth.


Caries is a problem faced worldwide, with more than 2 million cases per year in Brazil.

Although it seems harmless, the problem must be treated so that there are no major health complications.

The Healthy Minute has other health content ! Check it out and stay informed!

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