When you say tooth decay it means there is heavy damage to your tooth’s surface. It is the problems that you face with the tooth’s enamel. The enamel is basically the hard part of the tooth’s surface.
Your tooth will start to decay when the bacteria in the mouth actually attacks the enamel. When this happens, there will be sufficient tooth decay. This actually leads to the formation of cavities in the mouth.
When your tooth decay becomes too severe, it will even lead to possible tooth infection and can even lead to tooth loss.
In this article we will be talking in detail all that you need to know when it comes to tooth decay. This is a damage that is happening in your teeth and can lead to many concerns.
The cause of bacteria which makes the sugar turn into acids, can spell horrible news for your teeth. The acids work slowly in impacting your teeth but they can definitely ruin them completely.
So let’s learn ways in which you can ensure that the tooth decay is managed well in time. So let’s begin:
How Tooth Decay Begins
This is something which happens in bits and pieces. Having good oral hygiene is important. Make sure you are adapting good practices as it will serve you in the long run.
When we are talking about dental plaque , you should know it is the essential step in giving you the problem. So let’s first talk about plaque. This is actually a very sticky film which is covering your teeth.
It comes into formation when your food particles, saliva and bacteria begin to stick together. When the situation continues to get worse, you will notice that the plaque will continue to harden. It eventually becomes what we call tartar. This material is what makes it even more difficult for you to remove the bacteria.
So how it happens is through a series of stages. Let’s see them one by one:
The Start of Demineralization
You already know that the most outer layer of your teeth is called enamel. It is the hardest tissue in the body. And it is actually made up of many kinds of minerals.
However when you don’t take care of your teeth well, what happens is that your tooth will start to get exposure to the acids which are forming in your mouth. These are made when the plaque bacteria attacks these minerals.
When you start to lose the minerals, you will notice that there are these visible white spots that begin to form in your tooth. When you begin losing minerals from your teeth, this is basically the first step that happens in the tooth decay process.
So once you begin to lose the minerals, the next thing that happens is you will now suffer from the breaking of the enamel. When this happens, those white spots actually turn into a dark brown color.
When this enamel weakens, you will then have small holes forming in your teeth. These holes are what we call cavities. This is also something which can be tackled if done so on time.
Your dentist will be basically filling these cavities. It is still possible to save your teeth at this stage.
So now that your enamel is effectively impacted, the next thing that happens is your dentin will get damaged. Once the enamel is ruined, the bacteria and tartar can actually reach into the dentin.
This is basically the soft tissue which is under the enamel. While your enamel is actually quite strong and hard, dentin is actually softer tissue. This makes it even more sensitive to damage from acid.
Hence what happens is your tooth decay will become even faster now that it is reaching the dentin region. This also actually contains tubes which can cause the nerves of the tooth to get damaged.
And when this happens, you will definitely be suffering from teeth sensitivity. And this is especially in the case when you are drinking something hot or cold.
Pulp Damage Happens
So this is then the fourth stage and your oral health has been deteriorating at a high rate now. The pulp is basically the most inner part of your tooth. It is also the most sensitive. You will be having different nerves and blood vessels in them. It is actually what keeps your whole oral hygiene level in control.
It is basically the nerves which exist in the pulp that give your tooth such strong sensation.
When you suffer from pulp damage, it will make your tooth region and gum area to start swelling. And since the surrounding tissues will not be able to expand, this will be putting the added pressure on your nerves. And this leads to extremely strong tooth pain.
Abscess- The Final Stage
So this is basically the last stage in damaging your tooth completely. Tooth abscess is basically when the pulp has been severely damaged. And this leads to an infection in the mouth.
It also causes what we call an increase in the inflammation of the tooth. This is the stage when the severe pain is not tolerable at all. It actually begins in your lower jaw but can actually spread across the whole face.
This includes uncontrollable pain in your face, jaws as well as the lymph nodes that exist in your neck.
When this happens, you will need to take quick action and get a complete treatment otherwise it can cause severe problems later on. Which will not just impact your teeth but also different parts of your body. This includes severe complications which have no solution.
So now that we have talked in great detail about the tooth decay issues. I will now hit upon ways in which you can actually even prevent it from even happening.
Prevention of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay we now know is basically the destruction of your tooth structure. It not only impacts your enamel but also your dentin.
There is nothing major but when you consume too much of junk food, you are definitely going to impact your dental hygiene. The acids in all products which are starchy and sugary makes it easy for your teeth to lose their ability to retain their strength.
So to prevent tooth decay, there are some things you can actually do:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. That too with fluoride toothpaste. It is also best that you brush your teeth at least after every meal. Also when you are about to sleep.
- You should also make sure that you are also cleaning between the teeth. This means you should be flossing on a regular basis. When you floss, you are actually cleaning in those spaces which are hard to reach.
- You should be rinsing daily with a mouthwash. That too with fluoride. You will also be able to find those which come with antibacterial properties which help to kill off bacteria which actually causes plaque.
- You should aim to eat meals which are completely nutritious. This also means having a complete balanced diet. If you are eating anything which is sticky, you should aim to brush your teeth right after.
- Make a habit to drink fluoride water. It is really good for your teeth. It also helps in strengthening your teeth.
- Also it is essential that you make regulars dental visits. In this way, they can point out whatever is wrong with your teeth in a timely manner.
- Learn about dental sealants. This are actually really good in protecting your teeth in the long run. They will protect your teeth and prevent them from further decaying.
When talking about treatments, here are a few which actually work great:
Treatment for Tooth Decay
When talking about treatment, it all depends on what stage is your tooth decay. So here are a few options which work for you:
The Initial Demineralization
So this basically that point in which the situation is reversible. It is when you can protect the teeth before the initial damage happens. At this point you can get fluoride treatment. The way it is applied to your teeth is through a gel form. Did you know it is also available in the form of tap water?
Enamel Decay Treatment
At this stage, you are already suffering from cavities. You will be having the procedure of tooth filling at this point which can help combat the situation sooner.
So this is basically relating to the treatment you will get on your dentin. This is softer than your enamel. And at this point getting a dental crown is the best treatment. The area which is decayed is first removed before placing the crown. It is done in a way so that the crown fits onto your damaged tooth perfectly.
Pulp Damage Control
When talking about the pulp area. It is basically that area in which the impact is the most infecting. You will most likely get a root canal. In this the damaged pulp is taken out. The cavity will get a cleaning . And there is also a crown placement on the affected tooth.