To fully understand the process of tooth decay, it is important to understand what exactly a tooth decay is.
What is the dental caries?
Dental caries is an infectious and multifactorial disease that occurs on the teeth and demineralizes the different tissues that make it up, producing a hole-shaped lesion.
How do dental cavities form?
Among the different factors that cause tooth decay, poor oral hygiene stands out. Not only affecting those people who do not brush their teeth, but also all those who perform a bad brushing technique. Poor toothbrushing allows food debris and plaque to remain on the teeth and begins the demineralization process that triggers tooth decay.
How to avoid tooth decay?
To prevent tooth decay, in addition to maintaining good oral hygiene with tooth brushing, cleaning aids such as flossing and / or mouthwash can be added.
The use of dental floss is very important, the bacterial plaque that lodges between the teeth, precisely at the point of interdental contact, can only be removed with the floss, since the bristles of the brush are not able to access this point. Thus, after a good brushing of the teeth, the use of interdental floss will ensure the control of caries.
It is important to avoid eating food or sweets between meals, since each time we consume food the pH of the mouth changes and the teeth become more susceptible to cavities for a period of approximately half an hour.
Going anally to the dentist will allow the prevention and also the control of cavities from very early stages.
Phases of tooth decay
In a first phase, only a few small black spots or grooves on the tooth, when these stains have already pierced the enamel, their treatment is recommended. The sooner superficial cavities are treated, the better, since cavities will be prevented from evolving by becoming larger and affecting deeper tissues that put the stability of the tooth in the mouth at risk.
As the decay penetrates the deeper tissues it gets closer to the dental nerve and begins to generate pain. It may simply hurt when eating or it may hurt with heat or cold temperature changes.
If the case is not treated in time with a root canal or nerve treatment, it can cause intense pain, inflammation adjacent to the tooth or even extraoral inflammation.
When the tooth decay is very advanced and it has destroyed much of the dental tissue, it is possible that the tooth is not restorable and therefore requires to be extracted and replaced by a dental implant.
How to detect tooth decay?
The ideal is to regularly attend the dentist so that he can detect tooth decay in its earliest stages and before pain appears.
In most cases, dental cavities can be detected visually by observing some pigmentation or black stain on the tooth.
When the carious process is more advanced, one of the most obvious symptoms to detect tooth decay is extreme sensitivity to cold or heat, or pain when eating a sweetened food.
If the person observes or feels any of these signs or symptoms, they should go immediately to their treating dentist to make the diagnosis and indicate the necessary treatment for the case.
Treatment of dental caries
If the caries is superficial, it must be removed and it will be treated with a composite reconstruction.
If the caries has already come into contact with the dental nerve, it must be removed and the nerve must be treated by endodontics or root canal treatment. In this case, due to the great loss of dental structure, it is recommended to restore and also protect with a composite or porcelain inlay or in the most severe cases, the tooth will be rehabilitated with a dental crown.
The sooner tooth decay is treated, the better the prognosis for the affected tooth..
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