Dental caries, which are commonly referred to as tooth decay is a disease of bacterial origin where the tooth material is dissolved by the toxins and acid released by the microbes, and it ultimately leads to the formation of a hollow debris-filled cavity in the tooth.
It may range in colour from yellow to black tooth decay in later stages.
Tooth decay in children is also becoming a prevalent problem as in the modern era, and they are adopting unhealthy lifestyles and consuming high sugar content food such as candies and chocolates from a very tender age leading to early tooth decay.
A well-known theory mentioning the attributable causes of tooth decay is the “Acidogenic theory of causation of dental caries.”
According to this, 4 major factors are responsible for tooth decay
Another major contributor to tooth decay is the reduced flow rate of saliva.
A person who is ignorant of his/her oral hygiene may not be aware of the development of tooth decay unless the symptoms become significant. Also, most of you must not be aware of what a tooth decay looks like?
These are the most common symptoms and signs of tooth decay. Once you notice any of these tooth decay symptoms, you should visit a dentist at the earliest possible.
After having a brief insight into what is tooth decay, the next thing is to classify the type of tooth decay.
Dental caries are classified on four principal grounds viz location of decay, underlying aetiology, rate of progression of decay, and the hard tissues involved.
The answer to this question cannot be consistent as it depends on the extent of disease and the structures involved.
If you are wondering how to reverse tooth decay? Then you must know that it can only be done when the extension of disease is minimal, and cavitation has not occurred. It requires strict dietary modifications and regular workup for enabling the remineralisation of teeth.
However, once cavitation has occurred, the answer to this question is a big NO. It cannot be reversed, but proper treatment will lead to sufficient restoration of tooth function.
If you have already developed tooth decay and are looking for how to fix tooth decay, then you should consider the points given below.
The line of management and tooth decay treatment will depend on the extent of the lesion, nature of the lesion, whether it is cavitated or non-cavitated.
If the lesion is not cavitated and early diagnosis is made, rigorous modifications in dietary habits and adequate care can result in spontaneous re-mineralisation of the tooth.
Once the lesion has become cavitated, it is impossible to reverse the damage and lead to re-mineralisation. In this case, an iatrogenic intervention is a must to repair the damage, cure tooth decay, and restore the function of the tooth.
The procedure involves removal of the entire decayed tooth followed by filling the cavity with restorative material such as porcelain, amalgam, gold, or composite resin.
When the decay is pervasive, a crown is required to keep the restorative material in place.
For kids tooth decay treatment, preformed crowns made of metal are available. Child tooth decay should be corrected by taking adequate measures of precaution.
In line with a general rule, prevention is always better than cure. We as dentists encourage and promote healthy oral practices and adoption of healthy lifestyles so that you may never have to face any trouble like that of tooth decay. If you are wondering about how to stop tooth decay from developing in the first place, then here are a few measures you should consider.
Brushing and flossing your teeth are two most simple yet effective processes whose importance in preventing dental caries is unsurpassable.
It prevents the buildup of plaque and biofilm, which is a prerequisite for the development of caries.
The intake of free sugars is directly proportional to the risk of development of tooth decay. The food which sticks to the teeth for longer duration increases the risk of dental caries.
It would be best if you avoid the consumption of such unhealthy food items such as candies, cookies,chips, etc.
Dental sealant is a very fine plastic-like layer that is coated over the posterior teeth predominantly the molars to prevent the trapping or sticking of food in the teeth while chewing. They are a promising preventive measure to avoid dental decay and bad teeth.
These are increasingly being used in children as a prophylactic measure to avoid toddler tooth decay.
Along with taking preventive measures, expert advice is also needed. So, regular oral assessment by our dentists will enable early diagnosis and treatment in case of any dental problem.