Tooth decay is a condition in which parts of the teeth have rotting which may gradually develop into small or large holes.
Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent health problems in various parts of the world, and it is prevalent primarily among children and adolescents, but every person in his mouth may develop cavities, and if tooth decay is not treated, the holes may grow and expand, causing severe pain and infections, And even tooth loss and other complications.
Regular visit to the dentist , careful teeth cleaning , and the use of dental floss to clean the teeth on a regular and permanent basis is the best prevention method to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Tooth decay stages
The oral cavity, like other organs in the body, contains many different types of germs, and some of these germs grow and multiply in an environment of different foods or drinks that contain cooked sugars or starches, which are also known as fermented carbohydrates.
When these carbohydrates are not removed when brushing the teeth, germs convert them into acids within 20 minutes. The germs, acids or food particles and saliva turn into dental plaque, which is a sticky layer covering the teeth.
When placing the tongue on the teeth, this dental plaque can be sensed only a few hours after brushing the teeth, and the dental plaque is somewhat rough in the area of the teeth and molars, especially along the gum line.
Tooth decay stages
The following explains the stages of decay:
The acids that form in dental plaque attack the minerals in the hard layer of the tooth called the enamel, which is the outer layer that covers the tooth. Erosion of the enamel layer in the tooth leads to the occurrence of small holes in it and thus tooth decay.
Parts of the enamel layer are eroded, and thus germs and acids are able to reach the second layer of the tooth, which is called dentin, which is the middle layer of the tooth. This layer is softer and less able to resist acids than the enamel layer.
When the tooth decay process reaches this point, the frequency and speed of tooth decay gradually increases, and as this continues, bacteria and acids progress on their way into the layers that make up the tooth, as they advance into the pulp layer, which is the inner layer of the tooth, which leads to swelling and irritation .
Tooth decay also affects the bone that supports the tooth. In the very advanced stages of caries, the patient
suffers from severe pain, excessive sensitivity in the teeth when biting, and other symptoms.
The body may defend such bacterial penetration inside it by sending white blood cells to fight the emerging infection , and as a result an abscess may form in the teeth as this tooth decay process takes a short time.
The continuation of the erosion of the layers of the tooth one after the other as a result of decay, this process is accelerating more and more, and the decay often begins in the area of the back molars, because it has more holes, gaps and zigzags than other teeth.
Although this structure helps a lot with chewing food, it is also an excellent breeding ground for food debris, and these molars are more difficult to clean than the front teeth, which are more touching and easy to reach.
As a result, dental plaque forms more easily and quickly in molars, where germs thrive and produce acids that kill the enamel layer.
Types of caries
The dentist can also identify the three types of caries, as follows:
1. Tooth decay on the surface of the tooth
This type affects the outer surface of the tooth, where germs can stay for a long time, while acids attack the enamel layer. It often appears on the outer side of the tooth, i.e. towards the cheek in the line close to the gum, and this type can be prevented and treated easily unless it appears in the areas between the teeth.
2. Tooth decay of molar teeth
Tooth decay of this type attacks the gaps and concavities in the grinding teeth on the surface of the chewing part, and this type may develop rapidly if we do not care about oral and dental hygiene, or if we do not treat tooth decay immediately when it appears.
3. Tooth decay from the root of the tooth
this type appears in the root area of the tooth and is mainly prevalent in people who suffer from receding gums .
health and beauty
The initial symptoms of the development of dental caries differ from one case to another, and they are related to the degree of caries and its location. The caries in its beginning may not be accompanied by any symptoms or signs, but the more the caries intensifies, different symptoms may appear, including the following:
Dental pain .
Tooth sensitivity .
Slight or sharp pain when eating hot or cold foods or sweetened drinks.
Dental holes that can be seen with the eye.
Pain when biting into food.
The appearance of pus around the tooth.
Causes and risk factors for dental caries
Below is an explanation of the causes, risk factors and how tooth decay occurs
1. Causes of tooth decay
The causes and factors that increase caries include the following:
Not taking care of dental hygiene.
Have sweets and snacks on sugary drinks.
2. Risk factors for tooth decay
Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent health problems in the world, and there are several factors that increase the risk of developing caries or the development of a case of tooth decay, which include the following:
Unclean Teeth: Not brushing the teeth.
Mineral water: adding fluoride to drinking water helps reduce the spread of caries among people; Because these minerals protect the enamel layer of the tooth, but nowadays many people consume mineral water or filtered water that does not contain fluoride, thus losing the protection that fluoride provides to their teeth.
Age: Older adults’ teeth are more susceptible to decay.
Dental problems: Teeth complaining of gingival retraction.
Dehydration in the oral cavity: Dehydration in the oral cavity indicates a lack of saliva, and saliva plays a central role in preventing tooth decay, as it rinses food residues and dental plaques from the teeth, and the minerals in it
help treat the early stages of tooth decay.
Eating disorders: Deliberate loss of appetite or bulimia may lead to serious erosion of the layers of the tooth and the emergence of caries. The digestive acids that reach the oral cavity as a result of vomiting affect the teeth and lead to the erosion of the enamel layer in them, and feeding disorders may confuse and impede the production of saliva .
Heartburn: Heartburn increases the risk of tooth decay.
Close contact: Some germs that cause tooth decay can be transmitted from one person to another through kissing or the use of shared eating utensils, and parents or people who are very close to children may transmit these germs to them.
Cancer: some treatments for cancer .
Tooth decay complications
Tooth decay is so widespread that many people do not take it seriously. For example, it is common to not pay attention to children’s infection with caries in brown teeth, but tooth decay may lead to serious and long-term complications and complications, even in children whose teeth have not sprouted fixed after
Among these complications are:
Abscess in the teeth.
When tooth decay reaches a stage where the aches are very severe, this may hinder the normal practice of daily life to the point of preventing the student from going to school or the worker to work, but if the aches are severe and hinder the process of eating or chewing, it may lead to malnutrition and then Weight loss.
If cavities lead to tooth loss, this may negatively affect self-confidence, and in some very rare cases, an abscess formed as a result of tooth decay may lead to severe infection that may pose a threat to the patient’s life if not treated properly.
Dental caries diagnosis
The dentist can diagnose tooth decay very easily. He asks you if you have pain or sensitivity, then examines your mouth and teeth, and pricks the teeth with a special examination tool to check whether there are loose places in the teeth.
You may need dental x-rays, which are also able to diagnose cavities.
Tooth decay treatment
Dental caries treatment is largely related to the degree of caries, its severity, and the health status in general. Among the treatments it includes:
Dental nerve treatment.
Placement of a full tooth covering used to restore and repair damaged teeth.
age extraction .
Tooth decay prevention
Maintaining regular oral and dental hygiene helps prevent tooth decay. If you follow the following tips and instructions, you can prevent tooth decay or rot, which includes the following:
Brushing your teeth after eating or drinking.
Visit a dentist regularly.
Examine the possibility of tightening the gaps between the teeth.
Drink water from the faucets if it is guaranteed to be free of germs and microbes.
Refrain as much as possible from eating snacks and sweetened drinks.
Eat foods that promote dental health.
Use antibacterials when necessary and after consulting a doctor.
Herbs do not treat tooth decay, but they may help relieve tooth decay pain, including the following:
To learn more information about herbal treatment for tooth decay, read the following article: Herbal toothache treatment .