History of dental caries
Dental caries, otherwise referred to as tooth cavity or tooth decay, is a very common disease where the hard structure of the tooth i.e. the dentin, enamel, and the cementum, are affected by bacterial processes. Dental caries is actually the medical or scientific term used to describe tooth decay. The teeth tissues increasingly break down causing holes (caries or cavities) within the teeth. Dental caries are one of the oldest dental diseases known to man, dating back to the medieval and Neolithic ages. During those times dental caries cases were treated using herbs and so the prevalence was not that high. However, after the advent of Coca-Cola and the likes, dental caries became very, and has affected very many people across the world today more than ever before.
Causes of dental caries
Diet is one of the major causes of not only tooth decay but almost all other tooth related diseases in the world today. Dental caries manifest as chalky white which progressively becomes a fully blown, large visible cavity. The main cause of dental caries is bacteria which are responsible for the manufacture of acid inside the mouth. When this acid comes in contact with the teeth, they will become very sensitive so will be weak and more prone to infections. You see, naturally the teeth are in a demineralization state so when they are exposed to low pHs the process of deterioration will start, ensuing in a cavity or decay.
A dental cavity is visible by the naked eye so your dentist should be able to give you a thorough examination in search of caries each time you visit, which should ideally be after every 6 months. Your dentist will look at your teeth and even probe them if need be with a tool known as an explorer in search of damaged areas or pits. Dental caries in their onset stage could however not be visible with this method, but high tech and advanced technology such as using X-rays and lasers can help detect and diagnose dental caries. These technologies are advisable as they will detect the condition when it is in its onset stage, a time advisable since reversing dental caries is much possible at such a time.
If dental carries is left untreated for an extended period of time, it can lead to unbearable pain, occurrence of opportunistic infections and ultimately tooth extraction. Despite the fact that pain is one of the major symptoms of dental carries, no one knows exactly the real cause of pain but there are theories such as inflammation as a result of the acid-causing bacteria, exposure of your teeth’s root surface, and fluid imbalance levels in small openings inside the dentin known as tubules.
Prevention of dental caries
They say prevention is better than cure and when it comes to dental cavities and other dental diseases, you are better off preventing the occurrence of the disease than actually curing it. Regardless of the form of treatment that you take, things will never be the same again with your teeth once affected by dental cavities. The following are some of the simple procedures and tips you should practice to prevent the onset of the disease.
- First and foremost, you should ensure you brush your teeth on a regular basis, if possible after every meal, and if not possible at least twice, in the morning and at night before you go to bed.
- By the same token, ensure you floss regularly, and floss the right way i.e. down beneath the gum-line to get rid of any plaque and food debris that could be hiding down there
- The worst enemy of dental caries is sugary stuff, so you are better off avoiding these beverages and foods and instead have a diet made of nutritionally healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Last but not least ensure you book an appointment with your dentist at least twice every year. This way, you can have your teeth get a thorough professional checkup and cleaning meaning you can be able to catch a dental caries in its onset stage when it will be easier to treat, before it turns out into a major stubborn problem. By the same token, you should always visit your doctor anytime you see and feel signs of pain and discomfort, or increased levels of sensitivity in your teeth; you don’t have to wait for the next scheduled appointment as it could be too late to treat an otherwise mild condition.
As mentioned, treatment for dental caries is best when in its onset stage since such things as fluorides can be used. Fillings and dental crowns can also help treat the condition but when the worst comes to the worst, the only way you can stop the pain is through tooth extraction. So to avoid all this, why don’t you just observe high oral hygiene?