Tooth decay. Cavities. Ever since we are little, we heard adults warning us about cavities and making sure we brush our teeth properly. Tooth decay and cavities are among the world’s most common health problems.
According to Dr. Mohamed Minshad, cavities refer to permanently damaged areas on the hard surface of the tooth, resulting from bacterial activity on the enamel. Dr. Minshad insists that when left untreated, this damage extends to deeper layers of the teeth, resulting in pain, abscess, and sometimes tooth loss.
How does tooth decay occur?
Dental decay occurs as a result of bacterial activity on the tooth surface. According to Dr. Minshad, when there is sugar remains on the tooth surface, bacteria break this down, making acidic by-products. This leads to the demineralization of the enamel and pitting on the enamel. You may not experience pain at this stage. However, as the lesion continues, the cavitation extends to the next layer of the teeth, the dentin. Dentin is a comparatively softer layer with tubules, through which it communicates with the nerves in the tooth. It is at this stage of dental decay that the patient will experience sensitivity.
What happens if tooth decay is left untreated?
Dr. Minshad explains that if tooth decay is left untreated, the bacterial invasion continues to the pulp, which is a bundle of nerves and blood vessels in the tooth. As the pulp becomes infected with bacteria, the tooth starts to cause pain. A root canal treatment is therefore recommended at this stage to retain the tooth. Complications of dental decay can lead to pain, abscess, swelling and pus, broken teeth, and difficulty in chewing food.
How do I prevent tooth decay?
According to Dr. Minshad, dental decay can be averted by preventing the bacterial breakdown of food on the tooth surface. This is achieved by stopping plaque build-up, having regular oral hygiene habits, like brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, periodic dental examinations, and professional cleaning at a dental office. The use of Fluorinated toothpaste can also help prevent decay by strengthening the enamel.
What is your oral hygiene routine like?
For effective oral care products, we recommend the Elgydium products