In a common layman’s language, when it comes to Tooth Decay and cavities, it is understood as Bacteria attacking out tooth area. In scientific terms tooth decay happens when bacteria produce acids that attacks the enamels or the protective layer of the tooth.
Tooth decay is the first stage of cavity, when the bacteria attacks the enamels or the protective layer and it is left untreated, cavity takes place, the other cases could be tooth gum diseases or loss of tooth.
Stages of tooth decay,
1. White spots of Demineralization in Enamel
2. Cavity formation and enamel decay
3. Damage to Pulp (pulp is the soft tissue containing nerves and blood vessels of mouth)
4. Infection, Severe Pain and Gum diseases.
Cavity means hole in mouth which can be permanent, when acids in mouth harm the enamel or layer of tooth. Cavities are the damaged area on the surface of the teeth.
Three types of Cavities,
- Smooth Surface – This type of cavity occurs on the plain surface of teeth and can be prevented or reversed by proper brushing, flossing or dental cleanings.
- Pit & Fissure decay – Mostly in teenage, pit and fissure decay is a common type of cavity. It form on the part of tooth chewing surface, common on back teeth. Often caused due to leftover food parts or plaques. Fluoride toothpaste can help in getting rid of this type of cavity.
- Root cavity – Difficult to prevent, but mostly comes in older age. Root cavity happens when roots are left exposed to bacteria, due to gum recedes. Root canal or dental crown can be the treatment for this one.
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Before discussing the causes and remedies, it is important to know the symptoms of tooth decay and cavities.
Symptoms of Tooth decay and Cavities,
• Sensitivity on tooth area
• Brown, white or black stating in any surface of tooth
• Pain and discomfort on tooth during eating or drinking
• Toothache, Sudden pain
• Visible holes or gaps between teeth
• Bad breath or Bad taste in mouth
Causes of Tooth Decay and Cavities
The important question comes is, what causes tooth decay and cavities, so let’s discuss hereinafter,
There exists numerous reasons because of which one can face tooth decay and cavities,
• Infrequent Brushing Habits – When a person has infrequent brushing habits or tend to ignore cleaning the tooth area in proper manner, tooth decay occurs. Thorough cleaning, Brushing and flossing habits could really help in preventing tooth decays.
• Less Saliva – Saliva helps in remove bacteria is heard by all of us from our mom’s but we never took it seriously, but it’s true. Saliva plays an important role when it comes to protecting mouth from bacteria, dry mouth are at risk for tooth decay because that would mean more bacteria in mouth.
• Age – Age plays an important role when it comes to oral hygiene, people tend to face more tooth decays and cavities due to age factor. Also receding gums could be more exposed to bacteria and cause of such decays.
• Diet – Rich sugar and starch diet can be a cause in tooth decay. Eating a lot of sugar can form a clear sticky film that coat the teeth and if not cleaned well can form plaque, once the plaque gets harden it becomes tartar and creates a shield for bacteria.
• Food habits – Frequent consumption of some food specially including Acidic foods such as Soda, Meat, Fish, Processed Foods, fruit juice, can cause tooth decay.
• Negligence – Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decays and negligence of tooth decay for long can lead to permanent cavities or tooth loss. It’s better to brush at least 2 times a day and do not forget flossing. Once the destruction continues it can harm the inner tooth material that has nerves and blood vessels and can cause pain and discomfort.
• Nighttime Infant Feeding – Infant feeding is important, but during nights when those milk bottles are given the substitutes remains on their teeth for hours causing decay causing bacteria, which can highly effect their oral hygiene.
Before getting to treatment, one needs to know the Prevention, because as said ‘Prevention is better than Cure’
• Brushing twice a day or after very meal if possible with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride mouth rinse can also help in Prevention.
• Avoid frequent snacking and sipping, specially high sugar content food and drinks. Eating tooth heathly food can also help.
• Paying a regular visit to your dentist for check-ups and dental cleanings can help in preventing bigger losses for Teeths and mouth surface.
• Thorough cleaning and flossing of the teeth and mouth surface.
• Try Oil pulling – An ancient ayurvedic remedy to improve tooth health where you have to keep Coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for a while and spit afterwards.
Remedies for Tooth Decay, Cavities and It’s Prevention
When it comes to Remedies, one always have options of Natural Home Remedies as well as Medical Remedies, so here we will discuss both.
• Oil Pulling – Oil Pulling makes a place in both prevention as well as remedies as it can help in cases of before and after for tooth prevention and tooth decay.
• Garlic, clove, salt or turmeric – When it comes to home remedies, the list is endless. Garlic has this anti-inflammatory properties, clove helps to eliminate pain, and salt and turmeric works as antiseptic to disinfect the area.
• Cinnamon oil, Lemon oil, Tea tree oil – Each with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties helps in alleviating pain and discomfort from the tooth area and helps in preventing gum decay.
• Fluoride Toothpaste – By hardening the enamel and promoting layers of enamel, fluoride toothpaste helps in creating a wall which is resistant to acid and bacterias.
• Bentonite Clay – Clay might seem weird when it comes to Tooth remedies, but Bentonite Clay can help either in form of mouthwash by mixing it in water or as a substance in herbal toothpastes.
• Calcium – Intake of calcium food and drinks like milk can help in making teeh stronger. Calcium supplements can also help in case it is required as prescribed by Doctor.
Treatments for Tooth Decay and Cavities
It is equally important to know the Tooth Decay and cavity treatments because when Preventions and Remedies don’t work, the final take is Treatment.
• Fluoride Treatment – Fluoride plays a big role when it comes to oral hygiene, may it for prevention, remedies, or treatments. At the early stage of tooth decay, the doctors can suggest Fluoride treatment in form of toothpaste or mouthwash or treatments at clinic.
• Filling – The most common treatment is filling the area of hole where cavity is caused. Dentists can drill out the decayed material and fill the hole, either in form of silver amalgam, composite resin, ceramic filling or gold.
• Root Canal – If decay are not caught in early stage, and the decay reaches the tooth nerve, root canal is the option. Endodontists are dental specialists, who can treat when the cavity has reached the roots. They will remove decay from the nerves and blood vessels and once it is healed, they will cover it with a dental crown.
(Dental crown is a cap that replicates the tooth’s appearance)
• Tooth Extraction – Severe cases of decays and cavities have the final take of tooth extraction where the dentists are likely to remove the tooth and replace it artificial tooth.
Concluding, it is important to take Preventions and opt for natural home remedies to keep Tooth healthier and stronger and to avoid future causes and treatments. The best option to clear any sort of confusion is a call with or visit to your dentist.
Disclaimer: The information included here is only for knowledge sharing purposes, and the blog is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis, medical advice, or treatment by a healthcare professional. Because individual needs appropriate advice, the reader should consult their doctor to determine the appropriate disease depending on their situation.