Caries in children and adults: symptoms of decayed teeth

Caries in children and adults: symptoms of decayed teeth

Detect caries at an early stage and treat decayed teeth early

Your dentist has yours Caries detected? Nowadays, adults and Children from tooth decay affected. Almost every German is affected by the widespread disease once in their life. Now the question arises: how can you Heal tooth decay?

The experts at have done extensive research for this article and describe all types of tooth decay, symptoms, causes and what can be done to prevent them.

What is tooth decay?

Dental decay is a disease of tooth enamel and dentin. It is a communicable dental disease that can often occur in early childhood. Carious teeth must be treated by the dentist. By shifting the balance in favor of tooth-damaging factors, the tooth is demineralized and the bacteria can attack the tooth. In the advanced stage, larger defects such as black holes form in the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss, because tooth decay eats through the tooth to the root of the tooth if it is not stopped.

How does caries develop?

Caries causes

The development of this disease does not happen overnight, but over time through the combination of various factors that lead to demineralization or mineral release from the tooth surface

Detecting caries is relatively easy at this stage.

  • Disrupted oral flora due to bacteria that cause tooth decay and can be found in soft dental plaque (biofilm or plaque)
  • Inadequate oral hygiene
  • Sugar consumption too high
  • Not enough salivation
  • Tooth disease susceptibility

Microorganisms in the oral flora

Pathogenic microorganisms can cause damage if the microorganisms in the dental plaque convert sugar into acid. Phosphate and calcium are broken down from the tooth enamel and the tooth is attacked. Remineralization and demineralization are usually in balance. The microorganisms Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus like to settle on the teeth and convert low-molecular carbohydrates like sugar to lactic acid. If the bacterial infestation is very high, the microflora on the plaque creates a lot of lactic acid, which remineralises the tooth and destroys the balance. There is now an acidic environment and the tooth is broken down more.

The buffer function of saliva

Adequate saliva flow plays an important role in combating caries bacteria, since saliva has the property of neutralizing tooth-damaging acids and washing away food residues. He also remineralizes the tooth.

stage Symptoms caries
Initial caries to caries penetrans Bleeding gums
initial caries Chalky spots on the tooth surface
The established caries-caries media to caries penetrans halitosis
Cervical caries Notches on the tooth necks
Root or dental caries Sensitivity to heat and cold
From Caries media Tooth can break off when chewing hard food
From Caries media More and more toothache, then throbbing pain as soon as the root is attacked. With inflammation, the abscess can form

Detect caries

What does caries look like? Well, the first signs of tooth decay, also known as initial caries, are chalk-like, whitish to brownish spots on the teeth. Then toothache occurs more often when the tooth enamel is already broken. In an advanced stage you can see a black hole in the tooth. The tooth can also break off if the tooth decay has already advanced far. At this stage, the patient has bad breath.

Treat tooth decay

At the initial stage of tooth decay, the tooth is treated with fluoride and the patient should change the diet.

Caries under the filling. There can be secondary tooth decay, especially with old fillings.

Remove tooth decay

If tooth decay is too advanced and has produced black holes, the carious substance must be removed from the affected area and the hole closed with a filling.

If the change in the tooth neck is recognized early, careful professional tooth cleaning with subsequent fluoride preparation of the tooth neck is advisable and sufficient to remove the tooth decay. The Flourid allows the tooth to heal faster and is protected. If the stage is advanced, tooth decay should be removed and a filling made.

Early stage of mouth rot

If only the external enamel is affected, it is often sufficient to treat the area with a fluoride varnish. Flourid protects the tooth and supports its mineral reconstruction. Removing tooth decay is still easy here.

Advanced tooth decay

Drill caries

  • In the case of holes that reach into the dentine, treatment with the drill is almost always necessary in which the carious components are removed and the hole is filled.
  • If the tooth nerve is inflamed by the tooth decay, a root canal treatment of the tooth may be necessary. During anesthesia, the diseased part of the tooth nerve is removed from the tooth crown and the tooth is provided with an artificial crown for the tooth.

Caution! Under an old filling …

The tooth decay can be as primary and secondary tooth decay occur

  • Primary tooth decay: when the tooth is affected with it for the first time
  • Secondary tooth decay: re-formation at the point where the tooth has already been carious and has been treated.

Secondary tooth decay mainly occurs on the edges of fillings, crowns or inlays. Caries under bridges was also observed. The bacteria can penetrate through tiny gaps. This form of tooth decay is a result of poor oral hygiene.

… Therefore important for a filling: The dentist has to polish the filling edges well so that dental care is easier for the patient.

The different types of tooth decay

The tooth consists of tooth enamel, dental pulp or pulp with tooth roots

Depending on the degree of destruction of the hard substance by the bacteria, the following two forms are distinguished:

Caries superficialis: The defect is in the tooth enamel

  • Initial caries: In the initial stages, the tooth surface is still intact and descaling Only just beginning. Bright, almost transparent spots develop typical caries symptoms, which turn brown when they mix with darker pigments from the food. At this stage, tooth decay can be treated easily with fluoride and changing the diet, since only the enamel is attacked.

The established tooth decay: The surface of the teeth is already attacked and broken. Holes are emerging.

Mouth rot is contagious when the oral flora in your own mouth is acidic and not balanced.

The following sub-forms of established tooth decay exist:

  • Caries media: The defect extends to dentin, which is softer than tooth enamel and offers the disease the opportunity to spread widely. At this stage you can often have a toothache and the tooth is weakened enough to break off while chewing and eating. Dental caries is expected at this stage.
  • Caries profunda: At this stage, tooth decay is already present in all tooth layers and extends to the tooth pulp in which the nerves are located.
  • Caries penetrans: Due to the gradual destruction of the pulp, the pulp may die. The inflammation has progressed so much that the tooth is very susceptible to cold and heat. A tooth can still be treated by a root canal treatment, otherwise tooth extraction would take place.
  • Caries sicca: With this special form, the old, dark and hard tooth decay has stopped and no longer eats through the tooth.

Root and dental caries

This type is a special form of tooth decay in the area of ​​the melting-cement boundary. Exposed tooth necks are the perfect point of attack for tooth decay since there is no protective tooth enamel. Mainly adults are affected because they are more likely to have exposed tooth necks than children or adolescents. This form of tooth decay affects the dentin of the tooth crown.

The crucial difference is that tooth decay is not on the tooth, but on the tooth neck. This is particularly sensitive to hot, cold, sour and sweet. Since the tooth neck is not covered by the enamel, one provokes Zahnhalsfäule therefore pain from external stimuli and also the tooth decay can spread faster here. is particularly painful. Unlike the tooth crowns, the tooth necks have no protective enamel, so the disease can spread faster and damage the teeth.

Tooth decay results from the metabolic performance of the microorganisms that are in the dental plaque. After some time it attacks the roots of the tooth and is therefore located at the enamel-root cement border. In the case of major defects, filling or root treatment must be carried out.

Tooth rot eats through the tooth.

Our tooth

The teeth are anatomically divided into three different areas.

  • Tooth crown with protective enamel
  • Tooth neck or dentine consisting of dentin
  • Tooth root and tooth pulp

Caries is contagious?

The answer to this question is "yes and no". Bacteria are transmitted. However, everyone carries harmful bacteria. For an outbreak of tooth caries, one must also take into account a lack of oral hygiene and poor nutrition.

The transmission routes

When kissing, a large number of bacteria are exchanged and parents transmit tooth decay to their children.

What is it about the children’s caries?

More and more small children suffer from tooth decay. If the teeth get through in the baby, they are usually very susceptible because they are less mineralized and thinner than in adults. Oral hygiene is often underestimated, especially for small children, and many parents administer sugary drinks to their children in a baby bottle. They also suck off the pacifier or the drinking bottle and bacteria can also spread there.

These caries pictures show how the tooth decay eats through the tooth.

Tooth decay through the feeding bottle

Due to the constant contact with the sweet liquid, the enamel has no time to regenerate. The front teeth in particular are permanently exposed to the liquid when sucking. This is exactly where the salivary glands are located, the protective effect of which does not occur due to the contact with the acid. Because of the constant sucking on the bottle, which contains, for example, sweetened tea or juice, the teeth are permanently washed with sugar. In addition, there are also the numerous sweets that the children snack on. On acid attack on the teeth lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. In comparison, the enamel needs between 3 to 4 hours to the minerals through saliva take.

If the first teeth already have black holes, the tooth decay usually spreads quickly to the other teeth. Particularly in the case of teeth already infected with dental caries, a particularly large number of bacterial colonies colonize.

When does caries occur in children??

From the first tooth tooth decay can already develop and therefore the parents should start dental care from the first tooth.

Tooth decay in adults

Teeth reflect the way of life

It has been found that almost every adult has tooth decay. Dental caries only exist in adults, since the exposed tooth necks are very sensitive when the gums decline in old age. Often the teeth have been damaged by tooth decay in childhood and this can affect the permanent

Initial caries is manifested by chalk-like stains on the teeth

Teeth impact. Adults have gum infections much more than children. Genetics or predisposition can also play a role. However, what is always important:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Or the consumption of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or medication in combination with poor dental hygiene
  • And / or the consumption of sugar in combination with poor oral hygiene
  • Too little vitamin and mineral-rich food

In adults, tooth decay predominantly forms between your teeth. The reason for this is often incorrect and / or careless dental care. However, nutrition also plays a role. However, adults usually don’t eat as much sweets as children and teenagers.

Adults from middle age

In people over 45 years of age, due to the gradual decline in gums, the tooth necks in particular are affected Cervical caries is called. On exposed tooth necks, the protective layer of the teeth is thinner and therefore the tooth can be attacked more precisely at these points. Then mouth rot penetrates further through the tooth neck into the tooth and reaches the tooth roots.

Prevent tooth decay

Suitable prophylactic measures can significantly reduce or even prevent tooth decay:

dental care

Brush your teeth twice a day or 20 minutes after eating. You should wait 20 minutes each time because the enamel is roughened due to the acid in the food and after this time it has its protection again. Perfect interdental care with dental floss or oral irrigator should be done at least once a day.

Important: The cleaning time of 2-3 minutes should be observed. To control this, the use of an electric toothbrush with an integrated timer is recommended.


Products containing fluoride such as toothpaste with fluoride, mouthwash with fluoride and fluoride gel prevent the formation of tooth decay


Avoiding sugary drinks and food.

Caries home remedies

Unfortunately, home remedies do not replace going to the dentist in dentistry. In the case of an established tooth decay in which there are already holes or slight staining, you have to go to the dentist because he has to remove and drill the tooth decay. We do not recommend that you remove tooth decay yourself. You would only hurt yourself and the inflammation might spread further in your mouth. You can use the following home remedies to support you:


The clove is one of the most important home remedies for the treatment of tooth decay because it has an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial effect. It protects against the spread of caries bacteria and can relieve pain.

  • Dilute 2-3 drops of clove oil with 1/4 teaspoon of neutral vegetable oil. Put a few drops of the mixture on a cotton swab and dab the solution on the affected tooth. Repeat several times a day, especially before going to bed.
  • A dried clove can be placed on the inflamed tooth and left there for 20 minutes.

Note: Do not use clove oil too often or too much. It is strong in taste and intended for temporary pain relief and disinfection.

Salt can be used to treat tooth decay due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is also anti-inflammatory, relieves tooth decay toothache and bacterial growth.

  • Put 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 glass of warm water, shake, and gargle in your mouth for 1 minute. The solution should be garbled three times a day, especially in the area of ​​the affected tooth.
    Saline solutions can help with aphthae and tooth decay.

oil pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient tradition and an effective home remedy for tooth decay, bleeding gums and bad breath. It has an antibacterial effect and frees the tongue and teeth from impurities, i.e. bacteria.

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed wheat germ, sesame or coconut oil in your mouth (preferably in the morning before breakfast)
  2. Slowly pull it through your teeth and keep it in your mouth for 20 minutes.
  3. Then spit out the oil. It must not be swallowed, since it has now sucked up all impurities from the mouth. Watch the oil change color as you spit it out. Then rinse your teeth with lukewarm water and brush your teeth for 2 minutes.
  4. The oil can be used daily. Use regularly twice a week or daily in acute conditions.


Fresh garlic is one of the most important antibacterial antibiotics.

    Grind 3 – 4 crushed cloves of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of rock salt into a mass and apply to the infected tooth. The exposure time of 10 minutes should be observed. Then the mouth with flour >Conclusion

You can get a hold of tooth decay! Depending on the stage, other treatment options are possible. Oral hygiene is important first and then factors such as lifestyle and nutrition are added. In any case, even young children should be taught good cleaning behavior, since the teeth should last a lifetime.

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Christina Cherry
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