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For a long time, we often hear stories about tooth decay that harms oral health by living in the oral cavity and gouging teeth. However, does tooth decay exist in reality?

If so, what characteristics will the tooth decay have? Don’t worry anymore, because BeDental will provide complete information to answer all your questions through the article below!

What is a tooth cavity?

What is a tooth cavity? Tooth cavity or tooth decay is a common problem in the dental field, especially in children and adults. It refers to the loss of hard tissue or damage to hard tissue on teeth due to the effects of bacteria that accumulate in dental plaque, creating small holes on the tooth surface.

There are three main types of tooth cavity including crown caries, which is caused by bacteria and is the most common type; Cavities at the root of the tooth, often appearing when the elderly have gums that become loose and part of the tooth root is exposed, creating favorable conditions for bacteria to attack; along with secondary cavities, which appear in the area around dental fillings or crowns.

If not promptly cared for and treated, tooth decay can cause serious harm, from destroying the tooth to affecting the small nerve in the center of the tooth, which can lead to pain and tooth abscess. 

What is a tooth cavity? Which bacteria causes tooth cavity? How to protect teeth from cavities
What is a tooth cavity? Which bacteria causes tooth cavity? How to protect teeth from cavities

Which bacteria causes tooth cavity?

According to many studies, Streptococcus mutans are identified as the main bacteria causing tooth decay.

This bacteria interacts with carbohydrates and produces acids, reducing the pH below 5, causing demineralization of tooth surfaces and loss of calculus on hard tissues. As a result, small black holes in the teeth, known as dental caries, are formed.

In addition, not maintaining proper oral hygiene and consuming too much sugary foods also contribute to the formation of plaque, creating favorable conditions for the growth of Streptococcus mutans bacteria.

tooth decay diagram
What is a tooth cavity? Which bacteria causes tooth cavity? How to protect teeth from cavities

Do you have tooth decay?

Do you have tooth decay? “Tooth decay” is a term commonly used to refer to the wearing away of tooth enamel, rather than a living organism. Tooth enamel is the outer covering of the tooth and can wear away under the action of acids from bacteria in the gut, especially when certain fruit and grain products are consumed.

When tooth enamel begins to wear away, it creates a hole in the surface of the tooth known as a “cavity.” Bacteria continue to destroy tooth enamel and can penetrate deep into the tooth root, creating pain and infection. So, tooth decay is not a worm, it is a condition of mouth erosion caused by bacteria and other agents.

See more: 5 causes of porcelain tooth sensitivity?

Image of tooth decay in legend

Many people believe that there are cavities with opaque white color, about 2-4mm long, crawling between teeth and chiseling away day and night to create holes in the teeth.

These legendary worms were passed on to each other by patients who had the worms extracted from their teeth by quack doctors using a traditional medicine that only the Master’s family had.

The image of the crawling worms being caught and the patient seeing it with their own eyes makes everyone believe that: worms residing in teeth like worms residing in leaves are real. And that story keeps spreading, making many adults and children believe that the legendary tooth decay is real.

How to catch tooth cavity in legends

Tooth decay in legends is real, so the way to catch tooth decay must also be according to the legend. Specifically:

Catch tooth decay with perilla leaves:

Surely you have heard the recipe to catch tooth decay by pounding perilla leaves to get the juice. Then, drip that water directly into the corner of the eye and then the white strips will be removed (according to the miner, that is tooth decay).

The truth about catching tooth decay with perilla leaves

The story of catching tooth decay with perilla leaves seems to be a myth, but many people believe and apply it. But the truth about the reaction of the white strips that are removed when perilla leaf juice is added can be explained by experts.

These are fibrin fibers produced by the reaction of the essential oil in perilla leaves when combined with the conjunctiva, not cavities. Experts advise people not to apply perilla leaf juice to the eyes because it can cause danger, eye infections or reduced eye vision.

Catch cavities by smoking seeds:

Another equally mythical way to catch tooth decay is to smoke seeds to catch the tooth cavity.

How to do it as follows: Heat a brick, then sprinkle black pepper on it and then place the funnel on top of the sprinkled brick surface. People with tooth decay will suck on the tube part of the funnel. The smoke particles entering the mouth will cause white cavities to fall out.

See more: What is porcelain crown without tooth grinding? What is the price of porcelain crowns without grinding?

The truth about catching tooth decay by smoking

Faced with the quack doctors’ strange way of catching cavities, experts said that the white strips that fall out are actually the kernels of pepper that break in half when exposed to heat and fall into the mouth, not cavities like the doctors do. 

Direct fumigation like this has many potential risks such as: coal poisoning, pneumonia,… many cases of death if not treated promptly.

Health advises that these are the tricks of bad traditional healers, so people need to be alert and should not follow them, causing danger.

a Decaying Tooth Make You Sick
What is a tooth cavity? Which bacteria causes tooth cavity? How to protect teeth from cavities

Deep, scientific treatment

Dental experts said: In fact, tooth decay does not have a specific shape as rumored, they are a type of bacteria in the oral cavity called Streptococcus mutans. After fermenting carbohydrates, this bacteria will produce acids that erode tooth enamel, penetrate deep into the dentin and create lesions on the tooth crown. Leads to tooth decay.

Tooth decay requires timely intervention or treatment, otherwise, when it penetrates deeply, it will destroy the tooth pulp and cause other dangerous diseases. When suffering from tooth decay, patients should not treat themselves unscientifically but should go to reputable clinics for treatment advice.

Currently, tooth decay is treated with the following methods:

  • Fluoride treatment: This method will be applied to cases where tooth decay is still mild and in the early stages. The doctor will apply fluoride to the tooth surface like a gel.
  • Dental fillings: Dental fillings will be applied to cases where holes have appeared in the teeth but have not affected the dental pulp. This is the most widely used method today because of its quick treatment time, does not affect the strength of the teeth, and is reasonably priced.
  • Porcelain crowns: If your teeth have holes too large that filling methods cannot solve, porcelain crowns are the most suitable method. The porcelain layer covering the teeth creates a protective barrier like real teeth and does not cause any inconvenience.
  • Root canal treatment: Tooth decay affects the pulp, causing the pulp to become inflamed, affecting your daily activities such as pain and numbness when eating, requiring a root canal to remove the inflamed pulp. After the root canal is done, the tooth is filled to prevent bacteria.
root canal treatment 078475 edited
What is a tooth cavity? Which bacteria causes tooth cavity? How to protect teeth from cavities
  • Tooth extraction: In case the tooth decay is so severe that the tooth structure is destroyed, the tooth needs to be extracted to prevent and completely eliminate tooth decay.

See more: Got a toothache after getting a tooth filling? Causes and Treatments of Tooth Filling Pain

Things to note when having tooth decay

When faced with tooth decay, there are some important things you should consider and do to maintain your oral health. Here are the things to pay attention to:

  • Regularly visit the dentist: Tooth decay treatment should be carried out as soon as possible. Maintain the habit of visiting a dentist regularly to check the condition of your teeth and receive necessary treatments.
  • Take proper care of your teeth: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and use dental floss to remove plaque between teeth.
  • Control your diet: Reduce your consumption of sugary foods and drinks, especially between meals. Avoid sweet foods and foods that can hurt your teeth.
  • Use a fluoride mouthwash: Fluoride mouthwash can assist in maintaining the health of tooth enamel and prevent the formation of new cavities.
  • Choose toothpaste with fluoride: Choose toothpaste containing fluoride to protect tooth enamel and prevent the progression of tooth decay.
  • Limit habits that are harmful to your teeth: Avoid habits such as sucking on sweets, brushing your teeth too hard, and avoiding tobacco.

Follow full dental treatment: If dental fillings, fillings or other treatments are recommended, follow your dentist’s schedule and instructions.

How to protect teeth from cavities

Tooth decay greatly affects life and activities, causing patients to suffer a lot of pain. How to protect teeth from cavities:

  • Clean your teeth regularly twice a day.
  • Gargle with salt water and use dental floss.
  • Limit foods high in sugar and starch and carbonated drinks.
  • Eat lots of green vegetables and fruits.
  • Regular dental check-ups every 6 months.

The above article has helped you explain the truth behind legendary tooth decay as well as provide you with current scientific methods of treating and protecting teeth. Hope this article will be useful for you.

Below is the article that BeDental shared. If you have any questions that need answering or advice about your current condition, you can contact the team of doctors for detailed answers. 

See more: Which country is 3M Lava Porcelain Teeth from? How Many Types Are There? Detailed Review



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