Cavity (Tooth Decay), Causes and Care!

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White, healthy and strong teeth boost our confidence in daily public dealings. They are the establishment of our facial beauty and smile. They are the grinding blades of our body which chew all kind of soft or hard food for us thus gives us the real enjoyment of eating.

Consequently, it is obvious that they should be protected from all kind of possible diseases, decay, cavity and plaques.

Decay of teeth is among one of a dreading apprehension, which if not treated gradually instils uncertainty about our oral health in us. Tooth decay is vulnerable to all age groups, be it child, teen, adult or elder. So let’s understand what basically it is, what are its causes and how to prevent and/or cure it?

What is Tooth Decay (Cavity): Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel due to sticky and stubborn plaque. Plaque is basically a sticky film of bacteria found usually on your teeth. These bacteria (germs) in your mouth make acids that eat away a tooth. This eating by bacteria can lead to a hole in your tooth, which is called as cavity in standard terms. If not treated on time, cavity can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss.

Causes of Tooth Decay:

    1. Improper Oral Hygiene: Not at all or irregular or improper teeth brushing, flossing of mouth, rinsing of tongue cause bad oral hygiene and can lead to cavity in your teeth.

 

    1. Bacterial Plaque eats Tooth Enamel: Crevices in teeth and absence of any sealants on it allow bacteria plaques penetrate deep inside the teeth enamel and thus causes huge cavity.

 

    1. Food habits: Foods with high sugar, carbohydrates and acid are desperately brandished by bacteria sitting on your teeth. It further grows plaque; the root cause behind coating of your teeth in damaging acid thus ends up with cavity.

 

    1. Deficiency of adequate Saliva: Diabetes, certain medications and breathing through mouth usually cause dryness in mouth, which helps the growth of plaque. And as seen in point above growth of plaque means tooth decay.

 

    1. Stress and Tooth Grinding: Stress usually leads to tooth grinding, which strips away the enamel; thus a way to vulnerability for cavity.

 

    1. Insufficiency of fluoride in drinking water: Fluoride makes the teeth more resistant to acids. So if you are not getting its required amount then check up with your water supplies or bottled water.

 

  1. Smoking and tobacco can cause stained teeth, bad breath, gum or periodontal disease .Ultimately the effects of smoking on teeth can lead to tooth decay.

Preventions of tooth decay:

    1. Brushing: Brush your teeth at least twice a day.

 

    1. Fluoride Supplements: Use toothpaste having fluoride in it.

 

    1. Flossing: Make flossing your mouth at least once daily a permanent habit.

 

    1. Rinsing: Rinse your mouth after meals.

 

    1. Sealants: Use of protecting sealants (plastic coating) protects your child’s teeth from decay. Consult your dentist if your child needs it or not.

 

    1. Frequent Eating: Avoid frequent eating otherwise your teeth are under constant attack of acids and bacteria.

 

    1. Eat saliva generating foods preferably: Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables increase saliva flow; and sugar-free gum help wash away food particles.

 

    1. Avoid foods with high sugar such as sugar-coated cereals, desserts, and sticky foods; and foods with carbohydrates and acid as much as possible for the sake of reasons described above.

 

    1. Stay yourself and keep family-friends away from tobacco and smoking.

 

  1. Visit your dentist regularly and get their recommended schedule for your teeth care.

Curing the tooth decay: Healing of cavity can be done by following methods:

    1. Cavity filling: Dentist first removes the decay then fill the hole to restore the tooth to its original shape.

 

    1. Crown placement: If your tooth is badly damaged then the decayed part of the tooth is restored and a man-made crown or cap is placed.

 

    1. Root Canal Treatment: It is about going inside the teeth and cleaning the inflamed or infected pulp and disinfecting the teeth. Then it is filled and sealed with gutta-percha (a rubber-like material). This treatment is called endodontic treatment on standard terms.

 

  1. Tooth Removal or Implantation: If the root of the tooth is severely damaged, then the tooth is completely extracted (removed) and may be replaced with a removable plate, bridge or an implant.