Tooth decay is considered to be the most common dental problem. Decaying of teeth is commonly called cavities, and dentists refer to them as dental caries. They can affect the appearance, cause pain, discomfort and are the most common cause of missing teeth in young people.
What is tooth decay?
The oral cavity not only has teeth but also have some bacteria. These bacteria along with food particles can form a sticky layer called plaque. The plaque rests on the tooth surfaces, and it is in high amounts at the gum line, in between contacts of teeth, in the cracks of teeth.
The bacteria present in the plaque converts sugars that you consume in the food into acids. These acids along with the bacteria break the layers of the tooth.
What are the stages of tooth decay?
Early caries is white spots that begin on one surface of a tooth. They are reversible. Dental consultation, with appropriate fluoride treatment, can remineralize the area. The next stages are irreversible.
What causes of tooth decay?
- Poor oral hygiene
- Frequent snacking on sticky foods
How can you detect the presence of tooth decay?
The best way to detect is to have a regular check up with your dentist. Other symptoms of tooth decay are:
Blackish discolouration of teeth, tooth sensitivity, pain on consuming hot or cold food items. The severe forms of the negligence of carious teeth can also be the presence of pus in the affected tooth.
How does the Dentist detect Dental caries?
The dentist uses an instrument called as the explorer to find for the catch in the carious area. Dental X-Rays are very useful to identify the depth and extent of caries involvement. The treatment of the carious tooth depends on the depth of caries.
What are the Complications of Dental caries?
- Fracture of tooth
- Severe pain
- Formation of abscess
How to treat carious teeth?
- The first step to the treatment of your caries starts at knowing that there is a presence of a cavity
- Fillings (Restorations)
- There are filing materials that are tooth coloured and also strong enough to hold the forces when you chew food
- Root canal treatment (RCT)
- The dentist prescribes an RCT for severe cases
- Crowns are just artificial teeth available in various materials that can help regain the aesthetics and functional aspects.
- If caries has destroyed the entire tooth – last option would be an extraction. Your timely visits can contribute to avoiding the tooth to go for removal.
How to prevent Dental caries?
- The best way to avoid dental caries is to have regular checkups
- Following proper brushing techniques
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Usage of fluoride toothpaste
The present food habits have made the presence of tooth decay a very common aspect. Consult your dentist and maintain proper oral hygiene as it is the key to the prevention of tooth decay.