Dental infections, i.e. dental caries, tooth decay or cavities, are bacterial in origin and cause demineralization and destruction of the hard tissues (enamel, dentin and cementum). Usually, they wreak havoc by producing acid by bacterial fermentation of the food debris that accumulates on the surface of the tooth.
When demineralization exceeds saliva and other remineralization factors such as those from calcium and fluoridated toothpastes, these hard tissues of the tooth progressively decay and produce dental cavities (holes in the teeth).
The mutans streptococci are mainly responsible for dental cavities. If left untreated, cavities can lead to pain, tooth loss, and dental infections. Even with all the advancements of medicine, caries are still one of the most common diseases worldwide. Continue reading