Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cavities (Don't wait until it hurts)

Cavities or dental caries are the decayed areas of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities are referred as the disease of civilized people because of the changed food habits causing them.
They are one of the most common dental problems all around the world due to the shifting food habits of the people over past few years. The trend of eating more of soft and junk food, staying away from diets rich in fruits, fibers and vegetables along with high intake of refined sugar and carbonated soft drinks is one of the main reasons for Dental Cavities. They are especially common in children and young adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities , including infants and older people.


HOW ARE CAVITIES FORMED?
Your mouth like many other parts of your body, contains many types of bacteria. Some of these bacteria thrive on food and drinks that contains sugars and cooked searches, also known as fermenting carbohydrates. When these carbohydrates are not cleaned away from your teeth, the bacteria present in your mouth can convert them into acid within no time. The bacteria, acids, food particles and saliva then from into Dental Plaque- a sticky film or layer coats your teeth. The acids in plaque attack minerals in the mouth in the tooth hard outer surface called the Enamel. This erosion causes tiny openings or holes in the enamel cavitiesOnce the spots of enamel are worn away, the bacteria and acid can reach the next layer of your teeth, called Dentin. This layer is softer and less resistant to acid than enamel, so once tooth decay reaches dentin, the decay process speeds up. As the tooth decay continues, the bacteria and acid continue to reach deeper layer of your teeth, that is Pulp. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels which causes toothache, sensitivity and pain. Further it may lead to swelling called tooth abscess. Tooth decay most frequently occurs in back chewing teeth- molars and premolars. These teeth have lots of natural grooves, pits and fissures.

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