Photograph by Sam Williams
Cavities happen to be one of the most chronic oral problems to have affected a majority of the global population. Tooth decay marks the commencement of the cavities. Tooth decay is nothing but the softening of the tooth enamel. It occurs by the damage to the tooth structure caused by the acids that are formed when the sugar is broken by the plaque bacteria in the mouth.
If the loss of the mineral from the enamel is left untreated, a hole or a cavity is created. Without the treatment, these holes get enlarged over time, and in the process, the entire tooth can get destroyed.
The plaque acids can also eat away the tooth dentin and eventually cause what is known as a root cavity. As a result of that, the nerves can get exposed, and you may feel pain at the time of eating and drinking. If you feel pain near the root of the teeth, there are chances that you are suffering from some kind of tooth decay and should consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
Causes of Cavities and Tooth Decay
The primary causes of tooth decay include the sticky and sugary foods as well as beverages. Sugar together with plaque weakens the enamel leaving you vulnerable to teeth decline. Here are some of the cavity and tooth decay factors that you should pay heed to.
- Improper Maintenance of Oral Hygiene – Not correctly brushing your tooth actually helps to build up the plaque and attack the enamel of the teeth.
- Formation of Plaque – Plaque is formed when acid, bacteria, saliva and food particles all combine in the mouth. This plaque gets adhered to the mouth and builds up over time. The acid in the plaque attacks the enamel of the teeth and can lead to the formation of the holes in the teeth. These are otherwise known as cavities.
- Eating and Drinking – This is the beginning of everything. Since we all have to drink and eat there is no way to avoid this. When you consume something, the carbohydrates remain on the teeth until you brush. Even after cleaning, you may not be able to do away with all the food particles and carbohydrates from the teeth. Your risk of tooth cavity can be enhanced when foods cling to your teeth. That is why you should make it a point to brush your teeth regularly especially after eating dry cereals, dried fruits, hard caramel, candy raisins, taffy, breath mints, cookies and sugary cereals.
- Dry Mouth – Saliva helps to wash the plaque away from the teeth. If you have little saliva with a dry mouth, plaque will build up quickly.
- Medical Problems –This can cause tooth cavity by making acid from the stomach flow back to your mouth. In the same way, bulimia enhances the tooth cavity risks when the teeth are exposed to stomach acid during frequent vomiting. Apart from that, some types of cancer treatment that reveal the head and teeth to radiation can promote tooth cavity by altering the makeup of the saliva for enhanced bacterial growth.
- Bacteria and Acid – Bacteria live in your mouth naturally. When bacteria digest the carbohydrates that are present in your teeth and mouth, acid forms.
Can Decay be Prevented?
Even before the decay begins, the dentist can impede it by going for bleaching and cleaning. This method helps to do away with the plaque that serves as the breeding ground for the bacteria that cause a cavity. In case, the process of cavity formation has already begun, the dentist can close it with the dental fillings for preventing it from spreading after cleaning it. The infected tooth can be extracted if the cavity becomes irreversible.
Treatment for Dental Cavities
Even the healthiest and dedicated dental hygiene fanatics will get one or two tooth cavities over their lifetime. Although it is always advisable to avoid getting a teeth cavity, you should not get too much perturbed if you are diagnosed with one. The solution lies to detect the cavity early and do away with it quickly.
Most of the dental offices offer traditional dentures for filling the gaps left by an extraction. Some, however, provide a more permanent solution through the dental implants. Just like the dental braces for adults, this is also a type of dental device that fills the gap and comes with a tooth root and crown. As the root has been replaced the functionality and stability of the missing root is also restored.
There are some things that the dentist can do for keeping at bay dental caries and cavities. That is why it is quite vital that you go for regular dentist appointments to either cleanup or a check-up with your dentist. Nowadays the options of smile enhancement treatments are also great thanks to the advancement in technology. So do not let anything hold you back from flaunting your million dollar smile.
by Akshay Sharma