What are dental cavities?
One of the most common oral health problems in India is dental cavity. it is a condition in which a tooth decays and causes holes in the teeth, this tooth decay or cavity is usually a result of bacterial infection. Tooth decay is the main cause of cavities and in most cases, if it is left untreated it can result in causing severe damage to the teeth, and lead to demineralization and destruction of the hard tissues in the gum line, thereby causing deterioration in oral health. Sadly, tooth decay is a universal human ailment which affects all age groups.
Common causes of tooth cavities include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Sipping on sodas
- Dry mouth
- Worn fillings
- Lack of fluoride
- Irresponsible brushing and flossing
Symptoms to identify Tooth cavity or Decay:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild or sharp pain while eating
- Visible holes in the teeth
- Bleeding gums
Tooth decay doesn’t happen all at once, it comes in stages with minor cavities eventually being developed. Our teeth have three layers:
A. Enamel: The thin outer covering of the tooth is known as Enamel. It protects the softer more sensitive inside part of the tooth.
1. The first stage is the formation of a small brown lesion on the enamel, this lesion then proceeds to towards making a cavity or a hole in your tooth. It is not much painful as there are no blood vessels or nerves to signal pain to your brain.
Treatment: This can be stopped from getting worse by going to a dentist who will use fluoride cleaning treatments to protect the tooth from any further damage. Also avoid sugary and acidic foods.
2. Enamel decay is the second stage. In this stage the enamel is damaged by creating cavity or a hole in your tooth; at this stage the damage is visible in an X-Ray and will give your dentist a clear picture of how deep the cavity is. Enamel decay to some extent is painful but still it depends if the hole is still in the enamel or if the cavity is deep and close to the dentine, if so, you will experience tooth sensitivity.
Treatment: Typically, a small composite filling will stop the progression of decay. To stop tooth decay, your dentist will drill out the decay and place a tooth coloured filling to make your tooth whole again. This treatment is one of the most common dental processes, as it is safe, predictable and inexpensive way to fix or treat the cavity.
B. Dentine: It is the yellow layer below the enamel. Dentine is softer and more porous than enamel with lots of tiny tubes that connect to the inside of the tooth.
3. Here is the third stage If initial two stages have gone unnoticed, then the bacteria make its way to the dentine as it is porous and more like sponge,which makes the bacteria spread easily. Now you need to treat this at the earliest at your dental clinic. It might be painful depending on the area it has been spread to and will cause discomfort, toothache.
Treatment: Depending on the tooth and the decay, the cavity needs to be removed and there would be a certain amount of the tooth structure they will be needed to be removed, this will be the damaged part of the tooth. A larger restoration is needed after bacteria is removed, a dental crown or an onlay/inlay will be used to make the tooth whole and healthy again.
C. Pulp: The pulp is the soft centre containing nerve tissue and blood vessels and is the innermost layer.
4. Here is the Fourth Stage of cavity progression, this is the stage where the bacteria has reached in the inner chamber of the tooth and there is severe pain.
Treatment: The treatment for this stage is a root canal treatment. This is needed to remove the infection as well as to do the final restoration. This treatment involves removing the infected pulp from inside the tooth, cleaning the canals and filling them with special dental material. Depending on the tooth a dental crown may be used to cap the tooth so that it will be strong enough and make easier for chewing the food.
5. Stage Five: Formation of an abscess, this infection can spread to your jaw bone, ear and neck resulting in serious problem. Therefore, it is important to see a dentist without any further delay.
Treatment: The treatment for tooth decay will depend upon the extent of the infection. The dentist will need to take X-rays, and see if it’s important to remove the tooth so as to stop the infection from being spread or a root canal treatment along with antibiotics should be given. If the case is worse, an oral surgery will be recommended.
How to Prevent Cavities?
- Brush Regularly
- Floss Daily
- Drink maximum water and say no to sodas
- Regular dental check-ups.
Cavities can be treated at the bud, only if early diagnosis has been done. At LV Dental square we provide you cavity related treatment and also help you minimise the risk of developing cavities in the future.