Cavities or tooth decay are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of the teeth that grow into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also known as tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in the mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning the teeth well.
Cavities or tooth decay are among the world’s most popular health problems. They are particularly common in children, teenagers, and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get tooth decay, including infants.
If tooth decay is not treated, they get bigger and affect deeper layers of the teeth. They can produce a serious toothache, infection, and tooth loss. Daily dental visits and proper brushing and flossing habits are the best protection against cavities or tooth decay.
Tooth Decay Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of tooth decay differ based on their extent and location. When tooth decay is just starting, you may not have any symptoms at all. As the decay gets bigger, it may create signs and symptoms of tooth decay like:
1) Toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that arises without any feasible cause
2) Tooth sensitivity
3) Nominal to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
4) Visible holes or pits in the teeth
5) Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
6) Pain when you bite down
Causes of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay caused by a process that arises over time. Here is how tooth decay grows:
1) Plaque forms
2) Plaque attacks
3) Destruction continues
Tooth Decay Complications
Cavities or tooth decay are so common that you may not take them seriously. And you may think that it does not matter if children get holes in their baby teeth. However, cavities or tooth decay can have severe and lasting complications of tooth decay, even for children who do not have their permanent teeth yet. Complications of tooth decay may consist of:
2) Tooth abscess
3) Swelling or pus around a tooth
4) Damage or broken teeth
5) Chewing problems
6) Positioning shifts of teeth after tooth loss
When cavities or tooth decay complication become serious, you may have:
1) Pain that bothers with daily life activities
2) Weight loss or nutrition problems from painful or difficult eating or chewing
3) Tooth loss, which may influence the appearance, as well as the confidence and self-esteem
4) In rare cases, a tooth abscess a pocket of pus that is caused by a bacterial infection which can produce to more severe or even fatal infections
Diagnosis of Tooth Decay
The dentist can provide a diagnosis of tooth decay typically by:
1) Asking about tooth pain and sensitivity
2) Testing the mouth and teeth
3) Probing the teeth with dental instruments to detect for soft areas
4) Looking at dental X-rays, which can show the extent of cavities and decay
The dentist will also be able to say you which of the three types of tooth decay, you have a smooth surface, pit, and fissure, or root.
Tooth Decay Treatments
Daily checkups can detect cavities and other dental conditions before they make troubling symptoms and produce to more-severe problems. The sooner you seek care, the better the chances of reversing the earliest stages of tooth decay and preventing its expansion. If a cavity is treated before it begins making pain, you probably would not require extensive treatment. Treatment of tooth decay based on how serious they are and the particular condition. Tooth decay treatment choices involve:
1) Fluoride treatment:
4) Root canal
5) Tooth extractions
Prevention of Tooth Decay
Excellent oral and dental hygiene can assist you to avoid tooth decay. Here are some tips to help with the prevention of tooth decay. Consult the dentist which tips are best and suitable for you.
1) Brushing with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and especially after every meal, using fluoride-containing toothpaste. Floss or use an interdental cleaner to clean between the teeth.
2) Wet your mouth: If the dentist understands you have a high chance of developing cavities, he or she may suggest that you use a mouth rinse with fluoride.
3) Visit the dentist daily: Get professional teeth cleanings and daily oral tests, which can assist in preventing problems or spotting them early. The dentist can suggest a schedule that is best for you.
4) Drink some tap water: Most public water supplies have added fluoride, which can assist in minimizing tooth decay significantly. If you drink only bottled water that does not contain fluoride, you will miss out on fluoride benefits.
5) Always eat tooth-friendly food: Some foods and beverages are better for teeth than others. Avoid foods that get stuck in grooves and pits of the teeth for long periods, or brush soon after consuming them. However, foods like fresh fruits and vegetables grow saliva flow, and unsweetened coffee, tea, and sugar-free gum help wash away food particles.
6) Consider fluoride treatments: The dentist may suggest periodic fluoride treatments, particularly if you are not getting sufficient fluoride through fluoridated drinking water and other sources. He or she may also recommend custom trays that fit over the teeth for the application of prescription fluoride if the risk of tooth decay is intense.
7) Combined treatments: Chewing xylitol-based gum along with prescription fluoride and an antibacterial rinse can assist in minimizing the chance of cavities.