Dental Caries / Cavities / Tooth Decay: Everything you Need to Know!

Do you have untreated cavities in your teeth? Thus, you must know that they can lead to severe toothaches, infections as well as tooth extraction, if left untreated in continuity. 

Every person can get cavities despite their age. Having good dental health and following good dental care habits, such as: brushing, flossing and following dental checkups – can prevent any cavities in your teeth. 

Keep reading and learn more about cavities, which are also called dental caries or tooth decay.

What are Dental Caries?

Dental Caries is a disease which damages or even destroys the hard tissues of your teeth, enamel as well as dentin. Furthermore, caries is the most usual cause of tooth decay and it appears at every age, starting in childhood.

If caries is not treated promptly, it can develop and eventually lead to the complete destruction of the tooth, resulting in its loss.

Why are Dental Caries Caused?

After the consumption of foods and drinks – and for the most part after consuming sugar – germs most likely remain in your mouth and they eventually produce acids. If your teeth are not cleaned properly and on a regular basis, these acids wear out the hard tissues of your teeth and can also cause dental caries.

The causes of dental caries

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Constant consumption of sugar
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Lack of regular dental checkup
  • Decreased saliva flow, causing dry mouth
  • Bad nutrition
  • High levels of caries in mouth
  • Damage to the tooth enamel
  • Revealed root surfaces of the teeth
  • Orthodontic treatment combined with poor oral hygiene

What are the Symptoms of Dental Caries?

Dental Caries have several symptoms depending on the severity of the condition along with the width of tooth decay. The most usual symptoms that the generality of patients’ experience, are:

  • Toothache, for the most part during the consuming process but also when consuming fluids. Temperature, hot and cold have a significant role. Although, sometimes the pain lasts even after consuming food as well as drinking.
  • Yellow fluid, which might appear around the tooth due to infection
  • Sensitivity, when brushing your teeth

Which are the Stages of Tooth Cavities?

There are several stages that tooth cavities follow and where you can also detect them.

1st Stage

To begin with, acids cause the loss of salts and mainly calcium ions from tooth enamel. The enamel at these points of loss, turns into a white porous part.

Activity in opposition to caries: At this phase, the advancement of caries can be stopped with proper oral hygiene and fluoride (stagnant caries).

2nd Stage

If caries do not stop evolving and the loss of calcium ions persists in, then a hole will be created in the enamel and the damage will progress to the dentin (the substrate under the enamel). Thus, the tooth will become sensitive to the sour-sweet and the hot-cold stimulus.

Anti-caries activity: At this phase, the tooth requires to be filled so that the caries does not go deeper and the sensitivity terminates.

3rd Stage

If the caries does not stop at the 2nd stage, then it advances to the pulp of the tooth and infects it (the pulp is surrounded by the dentin and contains the nerves as well as blood vessels). Therefore, the pain becomes persistent and acute.

Activity in opposition to caries: At this phase, endodontic treatment is applied and as a solution, denervation of the tooth is advised.

4th Stage

At the final stage of tooth caries, the whole area of the pulp is infected and inflammation is caused in the tissues of the extremities. The nerve dies, while there is a probability of creating an abscess.

Activity in opposition to caries: At this phase, the solution may be the reward. In the case that the damage to the tooth is extreme, then extraction is considered obligatory.

Complications that Can Appear from Tooth Caries

If tooth decay is not diagnosed and taken care of appropriately then it can cause several complications. The most common complications that we can detect, are:

  • Abscess
  • Toothache
  • Difficulty when chewing
  • Tooth loss

Ways to Prevent Tooth Caries

Prevention of tooth caries can be achieved, as long as every patient follows the helpful tips and instructions of oral hygiene that are recommended by the dentist.

  • Proper and frequent oral hygiene
  • Reduce sugar consumption
  • Use of fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash: Fluoride makes teeth stronger and therefore more resistant to the activity of acids which is produced by germs. Furthermore, fluoride reverses and repairs onset of caries damage.
  • Boosted water consumption
  • Proper diet
  • Routine organized dental checkups and cleaning, in order to detect and treat any carious lesions in the untimely stages.
  • Sugar-free chewing gum. In people at high risk of caries, chewing gum assists in keeping your teeth clean, on the whole by activating the salivary glands. Saliva is a natural manner to cleanse the mouth of the acids which are produced by oral bacteria.

Diet and Tooth Caries

The function of diet in the appearance of caries is the leading character, as a prerequisite for the creation of caries is the teeth to come in contact with sugar.

At the moment that we consume sugary foods, acids build up on the surface of our teeth that erode the outer part of the teeth which is called enamel. This happens within the first 20 minutes when 2 hours pass after the food consumption. As a matter of course, at this early stage the damage can be improved on its own, thanks to a defense system that has saliva.

Although, when sugary foods are consumed time and again then, the defense system of the body is not able to put a stop to the destruction of the enamel and so the tooth caries starts its creation.

Tooth caries is caused not only by sweets and sugary foods or drinks, but also by all foods to which sugar has been added during their preparation, even in small amounts. To give an instance: toasts, drinks, soft drinks, some types of yogurts, etc.

On the contrary, sugars that by their nature are contained in fresh foods, such as in fruits, basically do not cause caries to your teeth.

To Conclude

If you do not take care of your teeth on a regular basis and you suffer from toothache, then it is possible for you to create caries. In this case, you should contact the dental clinic of Trio Dent immediately. The dentists of our dental clinic will undertake your case and examine your issues as well as suggest you a customized dental care treatment.

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