Tooth decay

 Tooth decay

Tooth decay


Oral and dental health is an integral part of public health, affected by it and affects it negatively or positively, and because the incidence of oral and dental diseases far exceeds many developed and developing countries alike, this necessitated concerted efforts, and doing everything that would reduce the incidence of those diseases.

The percentage of children with tooth decay for the age groups is:

6 years: 96%.
12 years: 93.7%.

Definition of tooth decay:

Tooth decay is damage to the outer surface of a tooth (enamel) that results in cavities and holes. Due to a combination of factors such as bacteria, frequent snacking and sugary drinks, tooth decay is one of the most common health problems around the world and in all age groups. And if tooth decay is not treated, the cavities and holes may enlarge and expand, causing severe pain, infections, or even tooth loss and other complications.

The reasons:

Bacteria begin attacking the first layer of teeth, which is the enamel layer:

Plaque formation: The mouth, like many other parts of the body, contains many types of bacteria that multiply on food and drinks that contain certain forms of sugar and fermentable carbohydrates. When these sugars are not cleaned from the teeth, bacteria quickly begin to feed on them and produce acids (because in the presence of bacteria, food residues, acids, and saliva, a hard layer is formed on the teeth called plaque).

• The effect of plaque on the teeth: the presence of plaque on the teeth leads to the loss and erosion of minerals in the enamel layer, after which holes begin to form and then the acids and bacteria to move to the second layer of the tooth (dentin).

• Complete necrosis of the tooth: When the damage from bacteria and acids reaches the third layer of the tooth (the pulp) that contains blood vessels and nerves, and then symptoms start such as pain when biting the tooth or sensitivity to hot or cold foods .. Then the body begins to resist these bacteria by forming cells A white abscess.


teeth pain.
Mild to severe pain when consuming sweets or sugary drinks.
Dental sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
Pain when biting.
Holes or pits in the teeth.
Pus around the teeth, especially when pressing on the gums.

Risk factors for tooth decay:

> Back teeth (molars): are more likely to decay due to prolonged exposure to food; This makes them more susceptible to plaque formation compared to front teeth such as canines and incisors. Its placement also makes it more difficult to clean with the brush and other care methods.

> Foods containing sugar: such as sweets and sugary juices.

> Eating frequently with food or small meals: This gives bacteria a constant source of sugars to digest them, producing acids.

> Nightly breastfeeding for children: The mother breastfeeds her child before bed and leaves the bottle of milk in his mouth while he sleeps, and this leads to the occurrence of infant decay.

> Failure to properly care for the teeth: This is represented by not brushing them regularly after meals and using medical floss.

> Not using fluoride: it protects the teeth. Because it fights the impact of acids, by stimulating the return of lost minerals to the enamel of the tooth.

> Dry mouth: a condition characterized by reduced salivation, and decreased salivation in the mouth increases the risk of tooth decay Because saliva contains antibodies that resist acids and bacteria.

> Poor fillings and dental veneers: can lead to tooth decay due to the accumulation of bacteria in them.

> Heartburn: As gastric acid reflux into the mouth leads to the erosion of the enamel, which destroys it and weakens it against the acid attack of bacteria.

> Eating disorders: such as anorexia or bulimia, the likelihood of caries increases; As the patient vomits, exposing the teeth to stomach acids, which increases the risk of decay.


Difficulty chewing.
Broken teeth.
Dental nerve inflammation.
Extraction of the tooth.

Prevention of tooth decay:

Brush your teeth after every meal or at least twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride.

Use dental floss to clean your teeth at least once a day.

Visit the dentist periodically.

Avoid foods containing sugar, such as sweets and sweetened juices.

Eat healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables and cheeses; Because it stimulates the secretion of saliva, which protects the teeth from the influence of acids.

Reduce your snack intake. As this reduces the food available to bacteria in the mouth.

If you are among the groups most vulnerable to decay, the doctor may recommend using a fluoride rinse.


Fluoride treatment: works to preserve the minerals on the enamel to strengthen the teeth against decay.
Fillings: When there are holes in the teeth, fillings (composite fillings or prosthetic fillings) are made for them.
Dressing the tooth (crown): used in case the tooth is damaged, broken, or there is a crack in the tooth, or for cosmetic purposes.