Dental cavities are tiny holes that appear on the hard surface of your teeth. They occur because bacteria create acid from sugar on the surface of your teeth. The most common bacteria that causes cavities is Streptococcus mutans.
These bacteria form plaque, which is a sticky film on your teeth. Plaque contains acids that remove minerals from within your enamel. Enamel is the coating of your teeth made mainly from calcium and phosphate. Erosion due to acids causes tiny holes in the enamel. Once this erosion spreads to the dentin layer under the enamel, a cavity forms.
Your dentist will be able to detect a cavity by asking about tooth pain and sensitivity; examining your mouth and teeth; probing your teeth with dental instruments to check for soft areas, and looking at dental X-rays to check for cavities and for the extent of the decay.
Risk Factors For Cavities
While a deficiency of Vitamin D can make you susceptible to cavities there are other risk factors as well. Some of these include:
- Eating hard and sticky foods that cling to teeth, such as candy
- Frequent snacking on sugary foods and drinks, such as cereals, sodas, and ice cream
- Having a dry mouth
- Lack of saliva in the mouth, due to a medical condition
- Heartburn due to acid
- Inadequate cleaning of teeth
- Infant feeding at bedtime
Treatment Options For Tooth Cavities
If you have tooth sensitivity or pain in your teeth, you should consult your dentist immediately. Your dentist will identify tooth decay after a thorough dental examination. The tooth decay treatment options depend on the severity of the cavity. Here are some of the various options that can be used to treat a cavity:
- Tooth fillings: During this treatment, your dentist will use a drill to remove the decayed material from your tooth. After this, your dentist will use a filling such as composite resin, gold, or silver to pack the cavity.
- Crowns: This treatment is ideal for more severe decay. During this treatment, your dentist will place a custom-fit cap over your tooth to replace its natural crown. Before starting this procedure, your dentist will remove decayed tooth material.
- Root canal: If tooth decay has caused the death of your nerves, your dentist will perform a root canal to save your tooth. During this procedure, your dentist will remove nerve tissue, blood vessel tissues, and decayed areas of your tooth. Your dentist will then check for infections and will apply medication to the root of your tooth as needed. Finally, your dentist will fill the tooth and may place a crown on it.
- Fluoride treatment: This treatment is carried out if a cavity is detected in the early stages. During this treatment, fluoride is applied to the affected tooth in the form of liquid, gel, foam, or varnish. These could be brushed over your teeth, or then, placed in a small tray that fits over your teeth.
- Tooth extractions: When teeth become severely decayed, they can no longer be saved and need to be removed. If your tooth needs removal, this can leave a gap between your teeth, causing your other teeth to shift. You can opt for a dental bridge or a dental implant to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
Home Remedies For Dental Cavities
If your dental cavity is not too severe, you can use the following home remedies for dental cavities to prevent them from worsening. However, you should consult with your dentist before trying these home remedies…
- Sugar-free gum: This can help remineralize tooth enamel. Gum containing xylitol has been researched extensively for its ability to stimulate the flow of saliva, raise the pH of plaque, and reduce S. mutans. However, more long-term studies are needed. Also, S. mutans in the mouth can be reduced by a sugar-free gum containing a compound called casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate, also known as CPP-ACP.
- Vitamin D: This helps you absorb calcium and phosphate from the food you eat. Eating foods high in Vitamin D, such as yogurt, can prevent cavities in young children. Foods such as milk and yogurt are rich in Vitamin D. You can also get your daily dose of Vitamin D by exposure to the sun.
- Brushing with fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride plays an important role in remineralizing enamel and preventing cavities. Research has shown that brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste helps prevent cavities. As most studies have been conducted on children and adolescents, additional studies need to be conducted on adults and the elderly.
- Cutting out sugary foods: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eating or drinking sugary substances is the most important risk factor for cavities. They recommend that your sugar intake should be less than 10 percent of your total caloric intake for the day. You should also avoid snacking on sugary foods throughout the day because then, your tooth enamel does not have the chance to remineralize, thereby causing cavities to persist.
- Oil pulling: This involves swishing around an oil, such as coconut or sesame, in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out. A small study showed that oil pulling with sesame oil reduces plaque, gingivitis, and the number of bacteria in the mouth. It was as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash.
- Licorice root: Extracts from the Chinese licorice plant, called Glycyrrhiza uralensis, can combat dental cavities, according to a study. Using a licorice extract in a lollipop significantly reduced the amount of S. mutans in the mouth, thereby preventing cavities.
If you suspect that you have cavities, you need to consult your dentist immediately. It is imperative that your dentist be skilled in treating cavities. You can consult such a dentist at Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, based in Hyderabad, India.
Your dentist at Vistadent will diagnose your cavities accurately and will suggest the right treatment for them. Your dentist at Vistadent will work closely with you right from the first consult and will treat you holistically and empathetically and not just as another case.
At Vistadent, we take the utmost care of every patient and ensure that their experience at the clinic is the best possible one, each and every time. So, if you have cavities that need treating or any other dental problem, do consult with the best dentists available…at Vistadent!
For more information about cavities or any other dental procedures, as well as other dental problems, contact Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, at 040-23388111 or +91 9866572482 or at email@example.com or visit our website at http://vistadent.net/.