How do cavities form in teeth?

Cavities are caused by dental caries, also known as tooth decay, the most infectious disease in the world caused by the activities of bacteria. Dental caries is a layer of food debris, saliva and microbes attached to tooth enamel. The fraction of tooth enamel is the result of bacteria on teeth that break down foods and produce acid that destroys tooth enamel. 

Babies are usually born without the caries bacteria, but they get it from the spit that is passed from their mothers’ or caregivers’ mouth to their own with a spoon or pacifier.

Why does dental caries occur?

There are many different factors that cause dental caries. When the infection has occurred, the number of microbes in our mouth and living conditions we provide affect the activity of the caries. It is very inaccurate to assume that the problems with our teeth are usually inherited or people suffer from “weak teeth syndrome”. Oral health and general health however should not be interpreted as separate entities. Our general health condition affects the “mouth digestion”, i.e. the existence of necessary nutrients, composition of saliva and the rate of saliva excretion. In most cases, dental caries occurs due to personal misbehavior or lack of certain health standards.

Which toothbrush to use?

Color and design are not the most important features when choosing a toothbrush, although it is advisable to pay attention to the size and shape as all teeth need cleaning, including rear teeth. It is important to pay attention to the features of the toothbrush bristles. Toothbrushes have three different bristle firmness ratings – soft, medium and hard. Medium and hard toothbrushes can damage gums and dental necks, which is why it is recommended to choose a toothbrush with soft and synthetic bristles.

Toothbrush should be changed after every 2-4 months or even sooner, in case the bristles are worn-out. It is also important to pay attention to the function of the bristle tips. Rough-cut bristles cause more damage to the enamel than round-tipped or specially treated bristles.

How to clean teeth?

Proper brushing and cleaning of interdental spaces with floss or other ancillary equipment removes dental plaque from the tooth surface. It is important that all dental surfaces get cleaned. The best way to do this is to develop a certain habitual system so as to leave no areas without attention. Due to the fact that dental caries damage frequently starts from interdental spaces, it is very important to clean these spaces too. Hold your brush as a pencil in order to avoid excessive pressure. The bristles should be at a 45˚ angle to the teeth and gum line, and use a short and fast back-and-forth motion when brushing. Plaque is more firmly attached on the tongue side, which is why it is recommended to start brushing from the inside. The tongue should also be cleaned. The time required for brushing is at least three minutes, but the quality of brushing is even more important – take your time for brushing! Excessively fast brushing and improper techniques may even be harmful – first, the gum may recede from the dental neck and later, the root cement that protects the dental root may be brushed away. Fast wearing of enamel is also sped up by an acidic environment present when eating sour fruit and drinking juice before brushing.

The internal surfaces of teeth are the least accessible and therefore need special attention while brushing. If you are unsure about the proper technique, take your brush to your dentist and ask for instructions. 

Guide the floss below the gum line while maintaining contact with the tooth and clean it using an up-and-down motion. The same procedure should be done on the adjacent tooth. Gum bleeding that may occur is suggestive of gum inflammation and improper techniques. Bleeding disappears after some time, provided that you use proper cleaning techniques.

Wider interdental spaces and fixed dentures may be cleaned with a special interdental brush.

Ask your dentist for advice when choosing an interdental brush.

Which toothpaste to use?

Scientific research has not shown any toothpaste to be significantly more effective than others. The mechanical brushing of teeth and interdental spaces is a far more important aspect in dental cleaning than any toothpaste. Although toothpastes are divided into basic, therapeutic and cosmetic categories, the most important requirement is still fluoride content sufficient to prevent caries. Toothpaste with at least 0.1% fluoride is therefore recommended. Such toothpaste should be used in small amounts on the toothbrush and can also be recommended for smaller children. It is not recommended to use whitening toothpastes for an extended period of time, because their effect is mostly based on abrasive substances and it is not possible to whiten teeth more than the natural color of the teeth actually is.

What are the main risks in dental care?

As dentists work with live nature, where the success of the treatment depends on environment, material, technology and knowledge, we would like to introduce you to the most common risks in dental care. Before deciding which treatment to use, it is important to be aware of these risks. 

These features and conditions are important for the following risks in dental care. It is important to emphasize that each problem is unique and requires a separate analysis for identifying the causes.

Dental crowns, bridges, posts, inlays

  • Temporary and fixed prosthesis can fall off
  • Ceramic/plastic material can crack or break
  • Tooth nerve infections might occur
  • Dental caries might occur on tooth surface after a while
  • Tooth sensitivity might occur after gluing
  • Tooth nerve infection might occur after teeth polishing 
  • Dental posts can cause a root fracture or open up cementations
  • The screw of the implant can fall out or crack
  • Restorations might affect chewing
  • Gum lines might recede and reveal the edges of the crown

Temporary prosthesis

  • Removable prosthesis may cause rubbing
  • Plastic or metallic parts may crack 
  • Prosthesis may fall off
  • Plastic may crack
  • Prosthesis may be positioned loose
  • Screws can come loose or fall off 
  • Might affect chewing

Dental implants

  • Do not ossify
  • Subsequent bone loss might occur
  • The metal edge may reveal and show from the gums
  • Come off after prosthesis 
  • Infection, swelling and fever may occur after operation

Root treatment

  • Pain might occur after treatment 
  • Swelling and infection might intensify
  • Tooth fracture might occur

Fillings

  • Might fall off
  • Might crack
  • Sensitivity might occur after treatment

Teeth whitening

  • Tooth sensitivity might occur
  • Gum infection might occur
  • The result is not “white” enough