Dental caries is caused by a thin film of bacteria called “plaque” that coats your teeth. When you eat or drink, the plaque bacteria digest any sugar and produce acids that attack your tooth enamel. The stickiness of plaque keeps these acids in contact with the enamel for some time after you have finished eating or drinking. With repeated and prolonged exposure to these acids, your enamel eventually can wear through, resulting in caries.

It is important to remove plaque regularly by brushing your teeth twice daily and cleaning between your teeth with floss or another interdental cleaner once a day. If plaque builds up, it can cause swelling and bleeding of the gingival (gum) tissue. Eventually, the hard and soft tissues that hold your teeth in place can be damaged, and you run the risk of loosing teeth.

William Britton Jr. DDS

Dr. Britton is a graduate of USC Ostrow School of Dentistry.

9292 Mira Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, California 92126 — (858) 566-4200

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