Talking about tooth decay it is the most common oral problem found in people. It is caused due to damage in tooth’s enamel. This happens when harmful bacteria create acid in your mouth that can attack the tooth’s surface. These bacteria attack the tooth’s enamel and dentin by softening them and causing small holes called the cavity. If these cavities are not treated on time can lead to tooth loss.
Tooth decay at an early stage will show no symptoms but as soon as it will increase can cause pain, toothache, sensitivity to sweets, and temperature of food.
Cause of tooth decay:
The main causes of tooth decay are food, drinks, and bacteria. A clear sticky liquid called plaque is always formed on your teeth. The plaque contains bacteria that feed on the sugar present in food and drinks.
The bacteria present on teeth form the acid that attacks tooth enamel’s making it lose its minerals. Drinking beverages that contain sugar can expose teeth to acid which causes enamel to continue mineral loss. Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed with other healthy meals that can clean your teeth of acids. Chocolate, toffee that can stick on teeth for a long time can increase your risk of developing tooth decay.
A risk factor in tooth decay:
Anyone with teeth has a risk of getting tooth decay. Some factors which you can control while some factors you cannot control.
Things you can control could be limiting sugar intake, alcohol, following good oral hygiene, using fluoride toothpaste, and avoiding tobacco.
Factors that are not in your control are age, using medicines that contain sugar, and respiratory problems that dry out your mouth like asthma.
Infants and toddlers are at higher risk as they drink milk only with a bottle which occurs when a child is put on the bed with a bottle filled with juice, milk, or formula. The sugar in these liquids feeds bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Teeth in young children are still growing so the minerals in these teeth are not stable making it easier for acids to attack them and eat away the teeth’ enamel.
Diagnosis and prevention of tooth decay:
In the early stage of tooth decay, it may appear as white spot-on teeth, more advanced stage will appear as black spot or hole in the tooth. A dentist can go for an x-ray report to detect decay, while your dentist can also check if a sensitive tooth is soft or sticky.
To prevent tooth decay start brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash once a day to improve your oral health. Regular dental checkups will help the dentist in spotting early stages of tooth decay by removing all plaque from the tooth.
Treatment of tooth decay:
A small amount of tooth decay on your enamel may be treated by using medicated mouthwash or toothpaste that contains a high level of fluoride. A small cavity is repaired by performing filling while a large cavity may require Inlay or Onlay or even a crown to protect its structure.
To save the decayed tooth with an abscess, a root canal treatment needs to be done. Once the infection is removed from a tooth, the chamber is sealed and the tooth is restored with a crown.
If the tooth cannot be saved, your dentist will go for extraction but the dentist will treat this as a last resort.