Dental caries is the destruction of teeth by bacteria. It causes decay and cavities, and affect all ages especially children and young adults.
Dental caries/tooth decay requires the simultaneous presence of three factors to develop: Plaque bacteria, sugar or carbohydrate food and a vulnerable tooth surface.
Early caries may not have any symptoms. Later, when the decay has eaten through the enamel, the teeth may be sensitive to sweet foods or to hot and cold foods and drinks. There may be other complications like discomfort or pain, fractured tooth, inability to bite down on tooth.
Treatment can help prevent tooth damage from leading to cavities. Treatment may involve: Fillings, Crowns, Root canals.
Preventing dental caries can be relatively easy by eliminating the causes of tooth decay by reducing the amount of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, and strengthening the teeth’s defenses. The following tips might help your teeth from decaying.
* Reduce the number of times each day that you eat carbohydrates or drink sugary drinks. Eat a well-balanced diet that limits sugary foods.
* Fluoride is the best resource available for strengthening and protecting teeth from decay and healing early acid damage by replacing the lost minerals. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is the most easy way of delivering fluoride to the teeth.
* Brush regularly at least twice a day after meal and floss daily to remove plaque from between teeth and below the gum-line.
* Prescription mouthwashes can help prevent decay by reducing the number of bacteria in the mouth. Chewing sugarless gums can also help preventing cavities.
* In children, new molars can be protected from dental caries by dental sealants as soon as they emerge. Sealants can help adults too, but they are only effective against tooth decay on the biting surfaces of molars and premolars.
* Have dental checkups and professional teeth cleaning at regular interval. A dentist will detect minor problems before becoming major ones.