Tooth cavities are also known as tooth decay or dental caries. This is a disease in which bacteria damages and demineralizes the tooth enamel, dentin and cementum of the oral cavity. The consumption of sugary items and carbohydrates triggers dental caries. The bacteria in the mouth to produce certain types of acids. These acids start damaging the tooth enamel. A cavity results if and if the enamel is not mineralized back through the remineralization process.
Dental cavities are basically holes in the teeth. The treatment for dental cavities should be initiated immediately. Otherwise, it can cause pain, infection and tooth loss. Dental caries or tooth cavities are among the most common diseases in the world.
Initially, dental cavities appear as a small chalky area and later turn into a large cavity. This cavity can usually be spotted by everyone. However, sometimes the cavities form in areas of teeth where the visibility is poor. Radiographs and other methods can help to detect the existence and extent of dental cavities.
Causes and formation
There are certain types of bacteria in the mouth which have the ability to produce acid. Usually, when a person consumes fermentable carbohydrates such as glucose, fructose and sucrose. This acid lowers the pH level below 5.5 at the surface of the tooth, eventually demineralizing the tooth enamel.
Dental cavities form through four main criteria. Tooth enamel or dentin, bacteria in the mouth, the consumption of fermentable carbohydrates and frequency of the consumption of fermentable carbohydrates. Dental caries forms on the surface of the tooth.
Usually, the patient experiencing dental caries does not know about their existence. A chalky white spot on the tooth is the first indication of dental caries. This chalky white area is the demineralized portion of the tooth enamel. Later, this turns into a cavity. Once cavity forms, the lost tooth structure cannot be regenerated. Dental caries damages the tooth enamel, the dentin and then start affecting the dentinal tubules. This causes severe pain, bad breath and alteration of taste.
A tooth structure which has been destroyed due to dental caries cannot be regenerated. However, small carious lesions can be remineralized to normality if the oral hygiene is maintained. Fluoride is extremely necessary for the remineralization process. Topical fluoride can be applied for treatment of small carious lesions.
If the cavity is not small, then treatment can be done to stop the further progression of the dental cavity and to prevent additional damage to the tooth. In this case, the tooth decay is removed from the tooth. A dental handpiece and a spoon are used for the purpose. After the removal of the tooth decay, dental restoration is applied to the missing tooth structure so that functionality and aesthetics are restored.