In this case the enamel is gradually loosing its mineral substances, and then it gets thinner and finally breaks. The effectiveness of the “attack” against the teeth depends from five factors which are the following: plaque, carbohydrate, the leftover of meals in the mouth, the frequency of eating and the lack of protective factors.
– Plaque: Caries occur when there are bacteria in mouth, which degrade carbohydrates, acids, and produce sticky materials which contribute to the formation of the plaque. Bacteria keep living in the plaque and produce acids.
– Carbohydrate: Meals and drinks containing fermentable carbohydrates contribute to producing acids.
– Leftover of meals in the mouth: The period during which the food remains in the mouth, has a great effect on caries. The longer the food remains in the mouth the more damages it causes.
– Frequency of eating: The more acid-producing meals you eat, the higher the rate of caries. Frequent acid attacks increase the time of dissolving mineral substances and decrease the chance for replacement.
– Lack of protective factors: Karyogenic factors are balanced by different protective factors: the saliva (it has an effect on the bacteria, on the formation of plaque and on the structure of the enamel), the fluoride (strengthens the enamel, helps the restoration of mineral substances, and it prevents the proliferation of the bacteria and the production of acid), the removal of plaque (tooth-cleaning and mouthwashing) and the usage of fissure sealers (protective coverages filling the fissures and pits of the enamel). The lack of these contributes to the faster deterioration of teeth.
Did you know that:
– people who have a diet expose their teeth to a special danger because their menu contains many raw vegetables, fruits, fruit juices and herbal teas which have a high level of acid;
– the risk of tooth decay is bigger in the case of sportsmen (who often drink sport drinks with acid-like effects which give them energy) and in case of those who maintain their weight by vomitting (bulimia);
– tooth-cleaning immediately after the meal can be harmful because then teeth, which are exposed to acid effects during the meal, are rubbed even more;
– drinking refreshers and tea slowly hurt teeth more than drinking these fast because teeth contact with acids for a longer period of time;
– the amount of sugar eated between the meals damages teeth more than the same amount of sugar eated during the main meals;
– an experiment made in the Netherlands showed that the number of children with healthy teeth did not increase, not even in the period when dentists launched a great propaganda for decreasing the consumption of sugar.