|Tooth Decay or Dental Caries
or Dental Cavities or Caries is a disease which breaks normal
structures of the teeth to form a hole or a cavity. In severe case, a
cavity may be very deep, affecting the central nerves.
|Tooth Decay Causes
|The Bacteria or Germs (Factor
1) break down Sugary Food (Factor 2) into acids. Acids etch away The
Tooth Surfaces (Factor 3). By Time Period (Factor 4) leaking out the
calcium and phosphate minerals destroy the enamel and the dentin below
to form tooth decay or cavities. Germs thrive on the teeth in a sticky
coating called Plaque (Factor 1).
The Most Common
Complications and Problems
At first, tooth decay may not
produce any obvious warning signs, especially in
milk teeth. But as it
progresses it may lead to:
toothache, or sensitivity
to hot or cold, or to very sweet foods
- if the nerve becomes
affected, infection may establish an tooth abscess, with
swelling of the jaw and fever, in severe cases, death
- tooth decay or dental
caries can also cause
bad breath and foul tastes
- tooth decay is the most
significant cause of tooth loss in children
|So How's it Treated?
Generally speaking, your early
treatment is less painful and less expensive than cure of wide-spread
tooth-decay. The goal of treatment is to preserve tooth structures and
prevent further destruction of the tooth.
Very minor decay or the small
lesions can sometimes self-cure or re-mineralize on its own. The plaque
with germs on the tooth should be cleared and better oral hygiene
started with the use of a dental sealants, varnishing, contact
fluoride gel. The incorporated fluoride makes enamel more strong. We
include application of topical fluoride solutions as part of everyday
But usually the fillings and
inlays will be needed to repair the small and larger cavities. Once
the tooth-decay is removed, the missing tooth structure requires a
dental restorations. Composite or white fillings are used when esthetics
is a concern. We advise silver amalgam and gold restorations for
posterior teeth where chewing forces are huge.
When the decay is too
extensive, Root Canal Therapy, also called "Endodontic Therapy",
is recommended. During this dental procedure, the nerves and other
tissues are removed along with decayed portions of the tooth. The canals
are cleaned and shaped. They are then usually filled ("deep filling")
with a rubber-like material. A
dental crown or cap may be needed if not
be enough tooth structure remaining.
An extraction or tooth
removal can also serve as treatment for dental caries. The removal
of the decayed tooth is performed if the tooth is too far destroyed.
Wisdom Tooth are sometimes considered if the tooth will probably cause
further dental problems. Tooth removal may also be preferred by patients
unable or unwilling to go through the expense or difficulties in dental
To replace a lost filling:
- Wash the cavity area with warm water and dry with the cotton
swab. Use applicator or your finger to scoop a small amount of
material from the vial. Pack tightly into the cavity area.
Close your teeth together, as if you were biting down on a piece
of paper, and chew or grind a couple of times to create a
comfortable bite. Use the cotton swab to remove excess
from around the area. Temporary Filling Material
such as Temparin will set softly in your mouth
within a few minutes. Avoid chewing on the repair for an hour
to allow the material to set.
To avoid infection and/or serious injury,
this product should not be used if there is throbbing pain,
ulceration or swelling in the affected area. In this situation
consult your dentist immediately. This product should not be
placed on open wounds. Read all of the directions
carefully before use! Wash and dry your hands. Use
only what is needed to repair the dental emergency and save the
rest for a future application. Keep out of reach of
|How Can You Avoid Tooth
|You can prevent tooth decay by
taking the following 4 steps:
1) Limit the bacteria and
germs (Factor 1) by proper
flossing to remove and put a
stop to formation of plaque. A tooth brushing as the
Bass Method can eliminate germs on
most surfaces of the teeth except for areas between teeth. Dental floss
removes plaque in the midst of teeth zones.
Look for the Best Toothbrush...
2) Restrict the amount of
Sugary Food (Factor 2) and sweet snacks your child is allowed (including
acidic fizzy drinks and sodas). Snacking delivers nutrition for
acid-creating bacteria in the mouth. Also, chewy and sticky foods (such
as candy or dried fruit) tend to bind to the teeth longer. But Xylitol
(wood sugar) has effect on reducing dental plaque.
- For dental health, the
regularity of sugar ingestion is more important than the amount of
Sugary Food consumed. Chewing gum containing
Xylitol (wood sugar) is
widely used to protect teeth.
|3) Build The Tooth Surfaces
(Factor 3) more strong to demineralization and, thus, resistant to tooth
decay. Fluoride helps prevent dental decay by binding to the crystals in
enamel. Make sure that your water supply has the optimal fluoride level.
Recaldent® (a naturally occurring component of milk) also promotes the
mineralization of the tooth enamel.
|4) Focus on the Time (Factor
4). The more frequently teeth are exposed to Sugary Food the more likely
dental caries takes place. Professional hygiene care consists of regular
(every six months) dental examinations and cleanings. Sometimes,
complete plaque removal is difficult, and a dentist or dental hygienist
may be needed.
- Brush your teeth 2 times a
day for about 2 minutes each time. Twice floss and mouth rinse
regularly and daily.
|Looking forward to hearing from
V. Melekhin, DDS
Return from Tooth Decay to Philadelphia Dentist