Everything You Need to Know About Dental Caries
Dental caries is one of the most common oral issues. Also called cavities, these holes appear on teeth as a result of tooth decay. When a person consumes foods and beverages, the acids in these items can damage the protective outer layer of teeth known as enamel. Also, food particles are left in the mouth after meals, and these are broken down into acids by the bacteria that live inside the mouth.
When a person fails to follow proper oral hygiene and stay away from foods that are bad for teeth, teeth are overexposed to these acids, and they eventually destroy the enamel and make their way into the inner layers of teeth forming holes on them.
Dental caries is usually seen in two areas of teeth. Occlusal cavities are those that form on the top surfaces of teeth that continuously have contact with food, while interproximal caries forms around the spaces between teeth. These are the two places where food particles accumulate the most in the mouth.
When carries are left untreated, they eventually make their way into the pulp chamber. This is where the blood vessels and nerves of teeth are housed. An infection often follows when the pulp chamber of a tooth has been compromised.
Treatments used to deal with dental caries
Dental fillings are the most affordable solution when it comes to dealing with cavities. The material is used to fill up the holes created by tooth decay and prevent further damage to the tooth by the acids in the mouth. Silver amalgam fillings have been the norm for decades, but composite resins are quickly replacing these. These composites are the same color as real teeth, making it hard to tell when a person has a composite resin filling.
During the procedure, the dentist will clean the tooth and remove all the decayed material on it before sealing the tooth with a filling.
When a tooth has become severely damaged by tooth decay, a filling might not be enough to save it. Crowns are used in these instances since these protect the tooth from further decline and restore its appearance.
3. Root canals
A root canal is often reserved for the most severe cases of tooth decay. This procedure is done when corrosion has compromised the pulp chamber of a tooth. While this procedure has a bad reputation as being painful, there is little to no pain experienced during a root canal since local anesthesia is administered.
The dentist will drill a hole into the affected tooth and files are used to clean up the decayed material in the pulp chamber. Medication is applied to deal with any infection, and the tooth is sealed with a unique filling. The tooth is then covered with a crown to protect it from further damage.
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