Do you know there are numerous bacteria that take place in our body! Many of them are considered as harmless and some even prove to be beneficial. Thereafter comes those bacteria that involve causing oral problems like tooth decay, periodontal disease, and cavities.
What Cause Cavities?
Talking about cavities, they are decayed areas in the teeth that occur as a result of acid-caused tooth decay, which can be understood as the destruction of tooth structure. Tooth decay is responsible for affecting both the enamel and dentin layer of the tooth. In some cases, they can extend into the pulp (nerve) as well. They occur when food containing carbohydrates that contain sugars and starches like cereals, milk, bread, fruits, soda, cakes or candy are left in the teeth. Bacteria which take place in the mouth digest such foods and turn them into acids.
After that, the acid, food debris, saliva, and bacteria combine together to develop plaque. As a result, it clings to the teeth. Acids presented in plaque give rise to dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth and create holes in the teeth, which is known as cavities or caries. Cavities can happen among anybody like children, teens or adults.
If the decay is halted before it reaches to dentin, there are bright chances for the enamel to repair itself if people use fluoride. The treatment of fluoride requires the use of prescribed high-fluoride toothpaste along with different applications of fluoride at the dentist’s clinic. Once decay reaches the dentin, the practitioner will drill out the decayed material inside the tooth and will fill the resulting space with filling, called restoration. If the decay is treated at an early stage, it helps to maintain the teeth’s strength and limits the chances of pulp damage.
Fillings can be considered as a good option at the time of treatment. They are made up of different materials and the dentist can put them inside the teeth or around it. One of the most common fillings that are used in the back teeth is a silver amalgam. It is a combination of silver, copper, tin, mercury and occasionally palladium, indium or zinc. Here, strength is proved to be essential and the colour of silver is relatively inconspicuous. This amalgam can stretch at a life span of 14 years. If it is placed carefully with the help of a rubber dam and the person takes good care of its oral health, it can last for up to three times as mentioned above.
One can advance towards gold filling (inlays and onlays) that proves to be excellent but it will be expensive as compared to silver amalgam. Even composite resins are also implemented where silver would be conspicuous. Another way is a tooth coloured filling called glass ionomer that is formulated to release fluoride once in place, an advantage for people especially prone to tooth decay. It can be also used to restore the areas which have been damaged by overzealous brushing.
Endodontic treatment or root canal, along with extraction (tooth removal) can be used when tooth decay advances far enough to harm the pulp at a permanent basis. Both of them are used to remove the pulp and eliminate pain. When the tooth is extracted, it should be evaluated for replacement with an immediate effect. If not done on time, the neighbouring teeth can change position and alter the person’s bite.
Tooth decay can cause pain depending upon which part of the tooth has been affected and how deeply the decay extends. However, a cavity in the enamel cause no pain but the pain starts when the decay meets the dentin. People may feel pain when the affected tooth comes in contact with hot, cold or sweet foods or beverages.
Such types of pain will indicate that the pulp is still healthy. When a cavity is treated at this stage, the dentists get a chance to restore the teeth and there will be fewer chances of having pain at the time of chewing. Cavities that reach through the pulp can make irreversible damage. If such damage to the pulp occurs and the pulp subsequently dies, there can be a temporary relief in the pain. After that, the teeth will become sensitive when a person bites or when a force is pressed on it by tongue or fingers. It is because the infection has originated or the area at the root has become inflamed.
How To Prevent Cavities
You can save yourselves by cavities in different ways. Try to limit snacking and take nutritious and balanced diet. We blame both carbohydrates and sugars for causing tooth decay, but the biggest culprits are sugars. Simple sugars like sucrose, fructose, lactose, dextrose, and levulose have the same effects on the teeth. The time sugar stays in contact with the teeth is what matters, that’s why you can rinse the mouth properly after the meal so that it will help to remove some sugar. Try to drink tea or coffee without sugar as it will help you in avoiding the cavities, especially on exposed root surfaces.
- Brushing- How To Do It Ideally?
Be sure to brush front, back and top sides of teeth to fight against cavities. Brushing with fluoride-containing toothpaste is helpful in removing the plaque, but they will emerge again in a few hours, that is why it is advised to brush at least twice a day. The shape and size of your brush must fit your mouth and allow you to reach all the areas easily. Place the toothbrush at an angle of 45-degree angle against the gums.
Move the brush back and forth in a gentle way in short (tooth-wide) strokes. It is eagerly important to clean the tongue along with teeth to remove bacteria and freshen the breath. Also, try to use the tip of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth by using a gentle up-and-down stroke.