Dental Caries or Decay, also known as cavities on the tooth, is the most common disease which I had seen in my daily practice. Tooth decay occurs when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, the sugars and/or starches of the food we eat with the help of microorganism this combination produces forms acids that attack tooth enamel causes Tooth Caries. If left untreated, the disease can lead to dental pain, tooth loss and infection.
It is an irreversible microbial disease of the calcified tissues of the teeth, characterized by de-mineralization of the inorganic portion and destruction of the organic substance of the tooth.
Causes of Dental Caries:
The most common bacteria associated with dental Caries are the mutans streptococci & other Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus, and lactobacilli. Cariogenic bacteria (the ones that can cause caries) are present in Dental Plaque & Calculus.
Causes for Dental Caries in Diagram
It is believed that the action of the bacteria on sugars and starches creates lactic acid, which can quickly and permanently dissolve tooth enamel & cause caries.
The acid which produces in the mouth, in just 20 minutes after sugar comes into contact with plaque is enough to begin this process. In most people this occurs whenever sweet foods are eaten; thus, eating of sweet or starchy foods between meals or at bedtime can be harmful to the teeth unless they are thoroughly brushed and rinsed immediately afterwards.
Progression of Dental Caries
The early stage of caries is asymptomatic(without any Symptoms), one sport can be noticed on the affected tooth which can be easily identified by a Dentist. If it’s untreated, then it progressed into the tooth. When the progression reached to tooth’s second structure Dentin it can cause Tooth Sensitivity. If it progressed more then its reached to Pulp most inner part of the tooth, causes Pain & Infection its can lead to the tooth abscess, cyst.
Prevention Of Caries
It can be approached by:
- Rinse mouth with water after every food, sometimes use Chlorhexidine mouthwash.
- Stick to gentle, twice-daily brushing with a soft/medium bristle or electric brush
- Use Fluorides after the advice of the dentist. Use proper toothbrush & toothpaste. Don’t use Charcoal.
- Reduce frequent consumption of sugars or sticky food.
- Maintain oral hygiene, flossing and brushing the Teeth, every 6th month get Scaling treatment.
- Apply pit & fissure sealants.
- Maintain Oral Hygiene, Know in Details How to maintain Oral hygiene – CLICK HERE
The main treatment option for a tooth cavity is to drill out the decay and put in a Tooth restoration (filling) made from various materials, like composite resins, amalgam, porcelain Or Extraction. Extensive tooth decay may necessitate a crown, inlay-onlay, root canal treatment. Treatment option will be dependent upon tooth condition & extension of caries. I will discuss various tooth condition & common Dental treatment for dental caries.
Tooth Restoration(Filling): If tooth caries involves Enamel or Dentin caries is to drill out and put in a Tooth restoration (filling) made from various materials, like composite resins, amalgam, porcelain, ceramic. Amalgam one the oldest method of tooth restoration, it’s black or gray in color, its longevity is very good. Nowadays tooth color restoration Composite material is mostly used.
Root Canal Treatment (RCT): When caries is extended upto Pulp or infection then Root Canal Treatment is the treatment option. To remove tooth infections Root Canal Treatment is one best treatment option. RCT is a dental treatment for removing the infection from inside a tooth. It can also protect the tooth from future infections. It is carried out in the pulp chamber & removes the pulp of the tooth & restoration done inside the tooth. Its little bit costly & time-consuming treatment. To know in Details about Root Canal Treatment – CLICK HERE
Tooth Crown or Cap: It is Cap like things, which covers the Crown portion of tooth-like Cap. It helps to protect the Crown of the tooth from fracture. Sometime in Proximal caries Crown is also used. After RCT we should do Crown to protect from tooth fracture. Mainly three types of the crown are used Metal crown, Metal Ceramic & full Ceramic. The metal cap is bit less expensive than other caps, but it has to remove at the time of MRI.
Extraction: When Caries causes severe tooth infection or tooth structure loss then Extraction is indicated to stop the infection.
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