Everything you need to know about dental caries

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Everything you need to know about dental caries

Tooth decay is a topic that affects almost everyone and can be very dangerous - yet we don’t take it seriously enough. 
Tooth decay is a process that begins on the contacting surface of the teeth and the oral cavity, progressing deeper and deeper from the surface, which can also lead to irreversible destruction of the teeth. As a first step in caries, the tooth enamel breaks down, resulting in the formation of holes in the surface of the tooth. Caries is the result of acids produced by bacteria in plaque. The plaque is a thin, sticky layer formed by the protein in the saliva through the breakdown of the sugar-containing substances remaining in the oral cavity. 
These are the phases of tooth decay 

Formation of white dots 

The first sign of tooth decay is the appearance of white spots on the tooth surface, which can form due to plaque deposition and calcium deficiency. The bacteria remaining in the plaque, during their metabolism, convert the sugar in the food they eat into acid, which in turn breaks down the enamel material. This phase is still easily reversible, but it is worth seeking the advice of a dentist for proper treatment. 

Enamel wear begins 

At this stage, the enamel is already cracking, which cannot be restored or curbed by the natural replenishment of minerals. The caries continues and if you do not intervene with a doctor, it will damage the tooth surface.
Enamel wear cannot be restored or curbed by the natural replenishment of minerals SOURCE: SHUTTERSTOCK

Dentin deterioration followed by dental involvement 

The acids produced by the bacteria continue to break down the enamel and thus slowly reach the dentin, which is the Latin name for the layer under the enamel. If caries gets here, toothache can develop, and with existing toothache, more severe pain can be expected. Dental fillings are needed in this case, but if they are still not treated, they spread further to the dental gut. There are various living tissues and cells inside the tooth, and the cells in the gut are responsible for producing the amount of dentin needed. But once the caries has reached here, pus will form, destroying everything around it. By this time, the patient may already be in severe pain, and for the most part, only root canal treatment can help. 

Cavity formation followed by tooth loss

Cavity formation is already associated with amazing pain as the infection reaches the apex of the tooth root. It can then spread to the associated bones, with serious consequences. Swelling of the gums and tongue is common, plus dental surgery is sometimes required due to the large amount of pus. In the absence of all this, the tooth must be pulled out, but even in the cavity formation phase, the situation is quite doubtful. 
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