Dental Caries – The Role of Our Diet in the Development of Dental Caries

As long as we have teeth inside our mouth, we can’t escape vicious caries. Dental caries is caused by a multitude and diverse ecosystem of bacteria inside our mouth. These bacteria eat up the sugar we eat. They thrive in our oral cavity and are able to survive because of these foods that are considered trophic for them. By trophic, this means that the food we eat is just as important for them as it is important for our survival.

The acid these bacteria produce as a result of the metabolism (conversion) of sugar is responsible for causing the cavities in our teeth. These may either lead to re-construction of the weakened, cavitated tooth, or may progress into caries. Once caries are initiated, the tooth is even more susceptible to even a more serious scenario.

It is very important to maintain good oral hygiene if we want to prevent destruction of our teeth by caries. The food we eat, particularly the sugar we eat contributes greatly to the progression of caries.

You might hear people tell you, “Don’t eat chocolates as these will DEFINITELY give you dental caries.” This is however only partly true. Dental caries per se is not solely dependent on the sweetness of the food or the amount of sugar that is contained in that food stuff.

Whether it is a loaf of bread, a piece of chocolate or a slice of chocolate, it does not really matter as long as you brush your teeth immediately after eating those cariogenic food. Note that cariogenic is different from carcinogenic food. Cariogenic foods are foods which are likely to cause caries and carcinogenic foods are those which predisposes a person to cancer when that person eats that certain food.

These bacteria would like it much more if its host eats more frequent without brushing after. That is why it is very advisable to brush your teeth after a eating cariogenic foods as this is very critical for the prevention of progression of dental caries.

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