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What are cavities? What causes cavities in the tooth? – Part 2

• Tooth decay is generally known as cavities or even a cavity.
• It is deemed as an infection that is bacterial in origin.
• It causes demineralization and destruction of the hard tissues.

What are the Signs?

• Appearance of chalky white all over the surface of the tooth.
• This means that an area of tooth enamel has demineralized.
• This can often be called as an incipient carious lesion or “microcavity”.
• As the lesion continues to demineralize, it may turn brown but will ultimately develop into a cavitation.
• Before the cavity forms the process is reversible.
• Each cavity that forms the lost tooth structure cannot be regenerated.
• A lesion that appears darkish and shiny suggests that tooth decay is present however the demineralization process has stopped, leaving a stain.
• Active decay is lighter in color and dull in features.
• Because the enamel and dentin are destroyed, the cavity grows more noticeable.
• The impacted areas in the tooth change color and turn soft to the touch.
• If the decay passes through enamel, the dentinal tubules, that are present in the passages from the nerve to the tooth, become exposed.
• This results in pain that could be transient.

This temporarily worsens with:
– heat exposure
– cold
– sweet foods
– drinks
• A tooth weakened by extensive internal decay can suddenly fracture under normal chewing forces.
• If your decay has advanced enough that the bacteria overwhelms the pulp tissue in the core of the tooth, a toothache may develop.
• The pain can be more constant.
• Death with the pulp tissue and infection are routine consequences.
• Your tooth won’t be sensitive to hot or cold.
• They tend to be very tender to pressure.
• Dental caries may cause bad breath and foul tastes.
• In advanced stages, infection can extend from the tooth to the surrounding soft tissues.

Complications arising can be life threatening which include:
– Cavernous sinus thrombosis
– Ludwig’s angina

What are the Causes?

There are four main criteria necessary for caries formation:
– A tooth surface also called enamel or dentin
– Caries-causing bacteria
– Ferment-able carbohydrates
– Time
• The caries process does not unfortunately have an outcome.
• Different individuals are going to be vulnerable to different degrees.

This is based on:
– The shape of their teeth
– Good oral cleaning habits
– The buffering capacity in their saliva
• Tooth decay can take place on any surface of a tooth.
• The decay is not in the structures which are retained from the bone.
• All caries arise due to acid demineralization which is more than remineralization due to saliva and fluoride.
• Almost all acid demineralization occurs where food retains on teeth.
• This food can be the ones containing carbohydrate like sugar.
• Most of the trapped food is usually left between the teeth.
• Hence, over 80% of cavities are known to occur in the pits and fissures.
• These pits are on chewing surfaces.
• These spots are where saliva, brushing or fluoride cannot reach in order to remineralize the tooth.
• The surfaces that remineralize on easy-to-reach surfaces develop few cavities.

Crest Cavity Protection Toothpaste Sensodyne Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth and Cavity Prevention Cure Tooth Decay

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