Cavities/tooth decay : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


What is Cavities/tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a hole that forms in your tooth. If left untreated, these small holes gradually become bigger. Many cavities don't cause pain at first, which can make it difficult to detect a problem. Regular dental check-ups can help you catch cavities early and prevent them from getting bigger. Be aware of tooth decay and treat it early.

What is Cavities/tooth decay?
Cavities/tooth decay

Teeth decay and cavities are some of the most common health problems in the world. Babies, adults, and even toothless animals can develop them.

The news that you have a cavity might come as a surprise. Even if you think you are taking good care of your teeth, accidents can happen. There are ways to treat a cavity and prevent new ones from forming.

  1. Teeth

Medical terms

  • Cavities are for good broken areas within the pave of your teeth that turn into small openings or holes. Cavities, conjointly known as dental {caries|decay} or caries, are caused by a mix of things, as well as bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sweet drinks and not cleansing your teeth well.

  • Cavities and caries are among the world's commonest health issues. They are particularly common in youngsters, teenagers and older adults. However, anyone the World Health Organization has teeth will get cavities, as well as infants.

  • If cavities are not treated, they get larger and have an effect on deeper layers of your teeth. they'll result in a severe ache, infection and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and smart brushing and flossing habits at your best protection against cavities and caries.

  • Over time the acids in your mouth break down the hard enamel that coats tooth surfaces This causes white spots to form on teeth which are known as tooth demineralization or lesions When small amounts of tooth demineralization occur at a particular site on a tooth surface this resulting area is called an initial lesion - "an initial" for short Tooth decay (also called cavities) occurs when larger amounts of demineralization attack the teeth over an extended period of time If not treated properly tooth decay can lead to pain and eventual loss of one's natural teeth

  • People who are unaware of the importance of good health and dental care may suffer from tooth decay or cavities Tooth decay results when plaque a sticky film that often contains millions of bacteria builds up on teeth The bacteria use sugars in food as an energy source and release acid as a by-product This acid kills the tissues inside the tooth producing a cavity Because many people with poor dental health eat sugary foods regularly they have an increased chance of developing cavities.

Symptoms Cavities/tooth decay

The signs and symptoms of cavities vary, reckoning on their extent and site. Once a cavity is simply starting, you will not have any symptoms in any respect. because the decay gets larger, it should cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that occurs without any apparent cause

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold

  • Visible holes or pits in your teeth

  • Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth

  • Pain when you bite down

When to see a dentist

You may not remember that a cavity is forming. That is why it is vital to possess regular dental checkups and cleanings, even once your mouth feels fine. However, if you experience aching or mouth pain, see your medical practitioner as long as possible. 

Causes Cavities/tooth decay

Cavities are caused by tooth decay — a process that occurs over time. Here's how tooth decay develops:

  • Plaque forms. Dental plaque may be a clear sticky film that coats your teeth. It's because of feeding loads of sugars and starches and not cleansing your teeth well. Once sugars and starches are not cleaned off your teeth, microorganisms quickly begin feeding on them and type plaque. Plaque that stays on your teeth will harden below or higher than your gum line into tartar (calculus). Tartar makes plaque tougher to get rid of and creates a defense for microorganisms. 

  • Plaque attacks. The acids in plaque take away minerals in your tooth's laborious, outer enamel. This erosion causes small openings or holes within the enamel — the primary stage of cavities. Once square measures of enamel are worn away, the microorganism and acid will reach the following layer of your teeth, known as dentin. This layer is softer than enamel and less immune to acid. Dentin has small tubes that directly communicate with the nerve of the tooth inflicting sensitivity. 

  • Destruction continues. As dental caries develop, the microorganism and acid continue their march through your teeth, moving next to the inner tooth material (pulp) that contains nerves and blood vessels. The pulp becomes swollen and irritated from the microorganism. As a result of there's no place for the swelling to expand within a tooth, the nerve becomes ironed, inflicting pain. Discomfort will even extend outside of the structure to the bone. 

Risk factors Cavities/tooth decay

Everyone who has teeth is at risk of getting cavities, but the following factors can increase risk:

  • Tooth location. Decay most frequently happens in your back teeth (molars and premolars). These teeth have voluminous grooves, pits and crannies, and multiple roots that may collect food particles. As a result, they are more durable to stay clean than your sander, easy-to-reach front teeth. 

  • Certain foods and drinks. Foods that hold your teeth for an extended time — like milk, ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, edible fruit, cake, cookies, candy and mints, dry cereal, and chips — are more likely to cause decay than foods that are simply washed away by spit. 

  • Frequent snacking or sipping. When you steadily snack or sip sugary drinks, you give mouth bacteria more fuel to produce acids that attack your teeth and wear them down. And sipping soda or other acidic drinks throughout the day helps create a continual acid bath over your teeth.

  • Bedtime infant feeding. When babies are given hour bottles stuffed with milk, formula, juice or alternative sugar-containing liquids, these beverages stay on their teeth for hours whereas they sleep, feeding decay-causing microorganisms. This injury is usually referred to as baby bottle dental caries. Similar injury will occur once toddlers wander around drinking from a sippy cup stuffed with these beverages. 

  • Inadequate brushing. If you don't clean your teeth soon after eating and drinking, plaque forms quickly and the first stages of decay can begin.

  • Not getting enough fluoride. Fluoride, a present mineral, helps forestall cavities and may even reverse the earliest stages of tooth injury. Thanks to its advantages for teeth, halide is additional to several public water sources. It is also a standard ingredient in dentifrice and mouth rinses. However drinking water typically doesn't contain halides. 

  • Younger or older age. In the United States, cavities are common in very young children and teenagers. Older adults also are at higher risk. Over time, teeth can wear down and gums may recede, making teeth more vulnerable to root decay. Older adults also may use more medications that reduce saliva flow, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

  • Dry mouth. Dry mouth is caused by an absence of secretion, that helps stop dental caries by washing away food and plaque from your teeth. Substances found in secretion conjointly facilitate countering the acid made by microorganisms. bound medications, some medical conditions, radiation to your head or neck, or bound therapy medication will increase your risk of cavities by reducing secretion production. 

  • Worn fillings or dental devices. Over the years, dental fillings can weaken, begin to break down or develop rough edges. This allows plaque to build up more easily and makes it harder to remove. Dental devices can stop fitting well, allowing decay to begin underneath them.

  • Heartburn. Heartburn or reflux sickness (GERD) will cause abdomen acid to flow into your mouth (reflux), geologically process the enamel of your teeth and inflict important tooth injury. This exposes additional of the dentin to attack by bacterium, making decay. Your medical practitioner might suggest that you just consult your doctor to check if stomachic reflux is the reason behind your enamel loss. 

  • Eating disorders. Anorexia and bulimia will cause important tooth erosion and cavities. abdomen acid from perennial regurgitation (purging) washes over the teeth and begins dissolving the enamel. consumption disorders can also interfere with spittle production. 

Complications Cavities/tooth decay

Cavities and decay are so common that you simply might not take them seriously. And you will suppose that it does not matter if youngsters get cavities in their baby teeth. However, cavities and decay will have serious and lasting complications, even for kids United Nations agencies haven't got their permanent teeth nevertheless.

Complications of cavities could include:

  • Pain

  • Tooth abscess

  • Swelling or pus around a tooth

  • Damage or broken teeth

  • Chewing problems

  • Positioning shifts of teeth after tooth loss

When cavities and decay become severe, you may have:

  • Pain that interferes with daily living

  • Weight loss or nutrition problems from painful or difficult eating or chewing

  • Tooth loss, which may affect your appearance, as well as your confidence and self-esteem

  • In rare cases, a tooth abscess — a pocket of pus that's caused by bacterial infection — which can lead to more serious or even life-threatening infections

Prevention Cavities/tooth decay

Good oral and dental hygiene can help you avoid cavities and tooth decay. Here are some tips to help prevent cavities. Ask your dentist which tips are best for you.

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking. Brush your teeth a minimum of double on a daily basis and ideally when each meal, victimization fluoride-containing dentifrice. to wash between your teeth, floss or use associate interdental cleaner. 

  • Rinse your mouth. If your dentist feels you have a high risk of developing cavities, he or she may recommend that you use a mouth rinse with fluoride.

  • Visit your dentist regularly. Get skilled teeth cleanings and regular oral exams, which might facilitate forestall issues or spot them early. Your medical man will advocate a schedule that is best for you. 

  • Consider dental sealants. A sealing material could be a protecting plastic coating applied to the change of state surface of back teeth. It seals off grooves and crannies that tend to gather food, protective enamel from plaque and acid. The Centers for sickness management and interference (CDC) recommends sealants for all school-age youngsters. Sealants could last for many years before they have to get replaced, however they have to be checked frequently. 

  • Drink some tap water. Most public water supplies have added fluoride, which can help reduce tooth decay significantly. If you drink only bottled water that doesn't contain fluoride, you'll miss out on fluoride benefits.

  • Avoid frequent snacking and sipping. Whenever you eat or drink beverages aside from water, you facilitate your mouth bacteria to produce acids that may destroy enamel. If you snack or drink throughout the day, your teeth are beneath constant attack. 

  • Eat tooth-healthy foods. Some foods and beverages are higher for your teeth than others. Avoid foods that stand still in grooves and pits of your teeth for long periods, or brush presently once ingesting them. However, foods like contemporary fruits and vegetables increase spittle flow, and sugarless occasional tea and sugar-free gum facilitate washing away food particles.

  • Consider fluoride treatments. Your dental practitioner could suggest periodic halide treatments, particularly if you are not obtaining enough halide through fluoridated beverages and different sources. He or she might also suggest custom trays that match over your teeth for application of prescription halide if your risk of cavity is incredibly high. 

  • Ask about antibacterial treatments. If you are particularly prone to caries — for instance, attributable to a medical condition — your tooth doctor could advocate special medicine mouth rinses or different treatments to assist abate on harmful bacteria in your mouth. 

  • Combined treatments. Chewing xylitol-based gum along with prescription fluoride and an antibacterial rinse can help reduce the risk of cavities.

Can you reverse tooth decay and cavities?

Cavities are caused by the acid in your mouth destroying the hard outer surface of teeth (enamel and dentin) As a result cavities can only be fixed from the outside That means that once you have a cavity it won't go away until it gets filled However tooth decay isn't necessarily an inevitable fact of life There are plenty of things you can do to preserve the strength of your enamel and prevent cavities: Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste; use dental floss or an interdental brush at least once per day to remove plaque from in between teeth.

How do you treat a cavity at home?

As soon as you see the signs of an impending cavity -- pain when eating certain foods tooth sensitivity or a dull ache for example -- go to your dentist's office Severe cases of tooth decay require removal of the affected tooth or teeth Treat milder cases at home with over-the-counter products These are usually available in your local drug store and include remedies like gels and dental creams Be sure to follow all instructions on the package; don't skip doses and make sure you brush twice a day every day to help prevent further damage to your teeth.

Can Salt remove cavities?

Salt is an antiseptic and can be used for cavity relief Rubbing the salt on the tooth achieves two purposes – (1) removes any food particles present in mouth from which bacteria grow and (2) makes the area around the cavity inflamed by releasing histamine that further kills germs Salt also absorbs moisture from saliva thus reducing swelling of gums and helping to reduce pain caused due to swollen gums.

What's the best toothpaste for cavities?

When selecting the best toothpaste for your cavities look for fluoride and glycerin Both are very effective in fighting off the decay-causing bacteria in the mouth These two ingredients also help to strengthen enamel while also reducing plaque buildup.

Does lemon juice help with cavities?

Lemon juice may first come to mind as a way to clean a dirty cast-iron pan but this popular citrus fruit can also help you clean your teeth Lemon is acidic which helps to break up calculus and other gunk stuck in your mouth from food and drink It's thought that the citric acid content of lemon makes it effective for oral cleaning by softening tartar deposits and minimizing tooth staining In fact those who suffer from gingivitis actually experience less inflammation when they regularly consume foods containing citric acids.

Can coconut oil heal a cavity?

Coconut oil and baking soda are two of the most versatile cleaning products in existence. They're also two of the most natural organic ways to fight cavities — and they might just be better than toothpaste as well.

Diagnosis Cavities/tooth decay

Twice-a-year dental checkups square measure the most effective thanks to catching cavities early once your medical practitioner will save an abundance of the tooth. Your medical practitioner can use numerous instruments to look at your teeth. A tooth with a cavity can feel softer once your medical practitioner probes it. you will additionally get dental X-rays. X-rays show cavities before the decay is visible.

Your dentist can usually detect tooth decay by:

Your dentist will also be able to tell you which of the three types of cavities you have — smooth surface, pit and fissure, or root.

Treatment Cavities/tooth decay

Regular checkups will determine cavities and alternative dental conditions before they cause worrying symptoms and result in more-serious issues. The earlier you look for care, the higher your possibilities of reversing the earliest stages of cavity and preventing its progression. If a cavity is treated before it starts inflicting pain, you most likely will not like intensive treatment.

Treatment of cavities depends on however severe they're and your explicit scenario. Treatment choices include:

  • Fluoride treatments. If your cavity simply started, a halide treatment might facilitate restoring your tooth's enamel and might typically reverse a cavity within the terribly early stages. skilled halide treatments contain additional halide than the number found in water, dentifrice and mouth rinses. Halide treatment is also liquid, gel, foam or varnish that is brushed onto your teeth or placed in an exceedingly little receptacle that matches over your teeth. 

  • Fillings. Fillings, conjointly known as restorations, are the best treatment choice once decay has progressed on the far side at the earliest stage. Fillings are fabricated from varied materials, like tooth-colored composite resins, ceramic ware or alloy that's a mixture of many materials. 

  • Crowns. For intensive decay or weakened teeth, you would like a crown — a custom-fitted covering that replaces your tooth's entire natural crown. Your medical practitioner drills away all the decayed space and enough of the remainder of your tooth to confirm a decent match. Crowns are also made from gold, high strength ceramic ware, resin, ceramic ware coalesced to metal or different materials. 

  • Root canals. When decay reaches the inner material of your tooth (pulp), you'll want a passage. This is often a treatment to repair and save a badly broken or infected tooth rather than removing it. The pathological tooth pulp is removed. Medication is usually placed into the basic canal to clear any infection. Then the pulp is replaced with a filling. 

  • Tooth extractions. Some teeth become so severely decayed that they can not be remodeled and should be removed. Having a tooth force will leave a niche that enables your alternative teeth to shift. If feasible, contemplate obtaining a bridge or an implant to exchange the missing tooth. 

Preparing for your appointment

If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in your teeth, build an arrangement along with your dental practitioner as long as possible. Here's some info to assist you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • All medications, vitamins, herbal remedies or other supplements you're taking, and dosages

  • Any allergies to medications or bad reactions you've had to local anesthetics

  • Questions to ask your dentist

Basic questions to ask your dentist may include:

  • Do I have a simple cavity, or do I need a crown or a root canal?

  • How many visits will it take to treat this tooth?

  • When will the pain go away?

  • What can I take for the pain?

  • How long should I wait before I eat or drink after this procedure?

  • Are there other steps I can take to prevent cavities?

  • Does my local water supply contain added fluoride?

  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your dentist

Your dentist may ask you some questions. Be ready to answer them to save time to go over topics you want to focus on. Questions may include:

  • Do extremes in food temperature or sweet foods cause you pain?

  • Does biting down make your pain worse?

  • How often do you brush your teeth?

  • How often do you floss your teeth?

  • Do you use toothpaste that has fluoride?

  • Do you eat a lot of sweets or drink sugary beverages or sodas?

  • Have you noticed dryness in your mouth?

  • What medications do you take?

What you can do in the meantime

While you're waiting for your appointment, you can take some steps to control your tooth pain. For example:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, if your doctor has said it's OK for you.

  • Use an over-the-counter anesthetic specifically designed to soothe painful teeth.

  • Use warm water to brush your teeth.

  • Use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

  • Thoroughly clean all parts of your mouth and teeth — don't avoid painful areas.

  • Avoid foods or beverages that are hot, cold or sweet enough to trigger pain.

General summary

  1. Cavities are a result of repeated exposure to sugars that is left on teeth Bacteria feed on these sugars and produce acid which dissolves tooth enamel When the enamel wears away the inner part of the tooth starts to show through creating a cavity (or hole) If this process continues untreated the decay will eventually reach the dentin or second layer of your teeth This can cause pain and sensitivity in your teeth as well as an increased risk for gum disease While there are many treatments available today to reverse cavities prevention is still key.

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