Understanding Tooth Decay and Cavities

Tooth decay and cavities is a condition wherein the teeth develop decay that can lead to formation of tiny openings or holes. If left untreated, the holes and the decay can get worse or bigger until they might affect the gums and cause infection and extreme tooth aches. Cavities and tooth decay are considered as one of the most common of dental health problems in the world.

Causes of tooth decay and calvities

The mouth contains a variety of bacteria. These bacteria thrive on food and drinks that a person takes in. There are bacteria that thrive on starches and sugars in food. These can turn into fermenting carbohydrates that bacteria can convert into acids.

A mix of bacteria, food particles, acids and saliva can form dental plaque that coats the teeth gradually. The acids in dental plaque then begin to attack the minerals in the enamel, the hard outer covering of teeth. 

This can lead to tooth decay and can wear away the enamel and lead the acids to attack the softer inner layer of the teeth called the dentin and speed up the process even more.

Symptoms of tooth decay and calvities

Decaying teeth usually may not show signs or symptoms in its initial stages. But as it gets worse, only then would the symptoms show up. Some of the usual symptoms include toothache, teeth sensitivity, visible holes in certain teeth areas and pus around a tooth as a result of infection.

How tooth decay and calvities is diagnosed?

A dentist would examine the teeth to look for possible pits and holes associated with tooth decay. Dentists would ask patients of experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity to certain foods. There are times that dentists would consider taking dental x-rays to detect cavities and tooth decay.

How to prevent tooth decay and calvities?

Good oral and dental hygiene is the best way to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Brushing the teeth after eating and drinking can help avoid food reacting with bacteria in the mouth.

If brushing the teeth may not be possible at certain situations, rinsing the mouth with water would do for the meantime. Regular visits to the dentist would also help prevent initial tooth decay from getting worse.

How to treat tooth and calvities?

Treatments available for tooth decay and cavities would depend on their severity. Some dentists make use of fluoride treatments to help get rid of tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral that helps teeth repair themselves. Such treatments are considered only for initial cases of tooth decay where the enamel may still be able to repair the cavities that the condition has caused.

Dental filling is another treatment used for more serious cases of dental cavities and tooth decay. A filling may help cover up or replace the holes on the decayed areas of the teeth.

For a severely decayed tooth, the next option would be a tooth extraction to avoid the pain symptoms that is usually associated with such cases.