Dental caries: causes and treatments
What are dental cavities?
Dental cavities are holes that form in your teeth. They start out small and get progressively larger when left untreated. Because many cavities do not cause pain at first, it can be difficult to realize that a problem exists. Regular dental appointments can aid in the early detection of tooth deterioration.
Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in the world. Anyone with teeth can develop cavities, including babies (baby bottle tooth decay).
Finding out that you have a cavity can be a surprise. This is especially true if you believe your oral hygiene is good. however, even if your dentist tells you this news, there are ways to treat a cavity and prevent new cavities from forming.
Symptoms of tooth decay
The symptoms of a cavity depend on the severity of the cavity. They include:
– tooth sensitivity,
– Tooth pain,
– A visible hole in the teeth,
– patches on the teeth that are brown, black, or white.
Causes of dental caries
Dental cavities are caused by plaque, a sticky substance that binds to the teeth. Plaque is a combination of :
– food particles.
Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. After eating or drinking foods containing sugar, the bacteria in your mouth turn the sugar into acid. Plaque starts to form on your teeth soon after you eat or drink something sweet. That’s why it’s important to brush your teeth regularly.
Plaque sticks to your teeth and the acid in it can slowly erode tooth enamel. Enamel is a hard, protective layer on your teeth that protects against tooth decay. As the enamel on your teeth weakens, the risk of cavities increases.
Cavities can affect anyone, although certain people are at a larger risk than others. There are several risk variables to consider.
– too many sugary or acidic foods and drinks
– poor oral hygiene, such as failing to brush or floss on a daily basis.
– not getting enough fluoride,
– dry mouth,
– eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia,
– Acid reflux, can cause stomach acid to wear away tooth enamel.
Cavities develop more often in the back teeth. Grooves and holes in these teeth can capture food particles. In addition, these teeth are sometimes harder to reach when brushing and flossing.
Treatment options for tooth decay
Talk to your dentist about any unpleasant symptoms you are experiencing such as tooth sensitivity or pain. He or she can identify tooth decay after an oral examination. However, some cavities are not visible during an oral examination. Your dentist may then use a dental x-ray to find a cavity.
Treatment options depend on the severity of the cavity. A cavity can be treated in a number of ways:
Fillings for teeth
A dentist uses a drill to remove rotting debris from a tooth. The dentist then fills the tooth with a substance such as silver, gold, or composite resin.
For more severe decay, your dentist may place a custom cap on your tooth to replace its natural crown. Your dentist will remove the material from the decayed tooth before beginning this procedure.
Root canal treatment
When tooth decay causes your nerves to die, your dentist will perform a root canal to save your tooth. He or she removes nerve tissue, blood vessel tissue, and any decayed areas of your tooth. He or she will then check for infection and apply medication to the roots, if necessary. Finally, he fills in the tooth and may even place a crown.
If your dentist detects tooth decay early, fluoride treatment can restore your tooth enamel and prevent further decay.
Coping with pain
Tooth decay can be extremely painful and inconvenient. While you wait for your dentist appointment, you may want to research ways to relieve the irritation. There are a few things you can do to temporarily alleviate the discomfort:
– Continue brushing and cleaning all parts of your mouth, including sensitive areas,
– Ask your dentist or doctor whether you can use over-the-counter anesthetics and try over-the-counter pain medications.
– Be careful what you eat: avoid extremely hot or cold or sweet foods when eating or drinking.
Complications of tooth decay
Tooth decay can lead to a variety of complications if not treated in time. These include:
– permanent tooth pain,
– an abscessed tooth, which can become infected and lead to life-threatening complications, such as an infection that enters the bloodstream or sepsis,
– the development of pus around the infected tooth,
– an increased risk of breaking or chipping a tooth
– difficulty chewing food.
You may cause damage to your tooth that cannot be repaired if you put off visiting the dentist. At this point, the only way to repair the decay is for your dentist to remove the tooth and replace it with an implant or bridge.
Preventing tooth decay
Tooth decay is a frequent dental issue, but you can lower your risk by following these guidelines:
– Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
– Floss your teeth at least once a day.
– Floss at least once a day,
– Eat fewer sweets and acidic foods, such as sweets, candy, juice, soda, and refined carbohydrates,
– Limit snacking between meals,
– Consider having dental sealants placed on your teeth.
The following foods can aid in the prevention of tooth decay:
– fiber-rich fruits and vegetables,
– calcium-rich foods,
– Sugar-free chewing gum with xylitol,
– unsweetened black or green tea,
– water with fluoride.