tooth decay

Health problems caused by tooth decay

Dental decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that attack the tooth. Left untreated, tooth decay can be complicated by infection and may even lead to tooth loss.
Dental caries can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly through regular dental checks by professional cleaning and avoiding foods high in sugar.

Bacteria, in combination with food, produce decay. Clear film, adhesion, called plaque that contains bacteria forms on the teeth and gums. These bacteria, in the presence of sugar in foods, producing acids. Acids attack the tooth in the first 20 minutes (maybe more) after eating. After a certain time, these acids destroy tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay.
Caria is likely to occur if:

  • Do not brush your teeth after meals and bedtime snacks
  • Do not floss every day
  • Consume foods high in sugar. The more time sweet foods remain on the teeth, the bacteria produce more acids. Sticky sweets and sugary foods such as raisins, sugar coated cereals, cookies, cakes, toffees, cause the greatest damage.

Lack of fluoride in water supply facilitates decay. Decay-causing bacteria can be transmitted from mother to child when they use the same spoons, forks or other utensils. Saliva contains bacteria remaining on them. Sometimes, even a kiss saliva transmit bacteria. Preventing tooth decay in children can be done by ensuring dental health of the family.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for cavities are divided into factors that can be controlled and factors can not be controlled.
Controllable risk factors
Among them:

  • Dental Care
  • If you do not wash and clean your teeth with floss plaque forms on their surface. With this method, the plate is removed from the surface of the teeth and the gums.
  • Cleaning teeth by dentist prevents plaque formation. The dentist removes plaque and tartar. Regular visits to the office for this professional cleaning, it prevents tooth decay or detected early, before it gets worse.
  • Lack of fluoride. Fluoride prevents tooth decay by increasing resistance to attack from acids produced by plaque. If running water is not enough fluoride content in it, should be used fluoride toothpaste.
  • Smoking, chewing tobacco, inhalation of cigarette smoke (passive smoking)
  • Alcohol.

Risk factors that can not be controlled

  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) and Sjogren’s syndrome. In both cases, do not produce enough saliva. Saliva removes foods and sugars, protecting teeth. Dry mouth occurs widely in the elderly, who quickly evolving. Certain medications, such as for colds, hypertension, depression, can cause dry mouth.
  • Age. Young people whose teeth are growing caries for minerals in young teeth are not stable and can be easily removed from acids. Elders suffering from gingival and an increased risk of developing tooth decay on the root.
  • Respiratory diseases such as allergic rhinitis, causes mouth breathing. When breathing is done through the mouth, saliva dries quickly and no longer protects teeth.
  • Certain types of bacteria in the mouth are responsible for decay.
  • Diabetes mellitus. Those who suffer from diabetes, weakened immune systems and thus have an increased risk of caries.
  • The use of drugs that contain sugar

Risk factors in children:

  • Going to bed with glass of juice, milk, milk powder in the mouth. The sugar in these drinks feeds the bacteria that cause caries (baby bottle tooth decay).
  • Sharing of cutlery. Newborns do not carry bacteria that cause cavities, but it can pass easily in the mouth of children using common cutlery with parents. Sometimes, even a kiss saliva transmit bacteria. Preventing tooth decay in children can be done by ensuring dental health of the family.
  • Exposure to cigarette smoke. Sansa children develop caries increases with passive smoking.

Dental decay does not cause symptoms until after cavity or infection is present. Symptoms include:

  • Pain (most common symptom) – infection or irritation of the dental pulp usually produces pain
  • Bad breath and bad taste in mouth
  • White spots, gray, brown or black spots on tooth
  • Fractured tooth or pressure sensitive

Pain can become violent when:

  • Consume sweets
  • Ingest hot drinks, hot or cold foods, acidic liquid (lemonade)
  • Chew gum or food
  • Breathe cold air
  • Brushing teeth

Dental caries may be complicated by an abscess (a pus bag) formed in bone, tooth root tip. Abscess symptoms are:

  • fever
  • Swollen lymph
  • Swelling of the cheek
  • Deep pain, throbbing.

Pathophysiological mechanisms

Dental decay occurs slowly over a period of months, even years.
Caria begins to occur when the bacteria in the oral cavity increase their activity in the first 20 to 30 minutes after a meal. They produce acid that attacks the mineral layer of the tooth (enamel). Hole (cavity) forms when the tooth defense capability is exceeded by the damage caused by acids.
A tooth has an outer layer (enamel), a middle (dentin) and is located in the center pulp. The more layers affected by caries damage is even more important.
When the cavity is small, that the affected area is small and not perforated tooth surface can be halted through the intervention development dentist applying fluoride to the tooth.
In case of deep cavities, need a filling (filling) to prevent a complication of tooth decay.
If the pulp is damaged, the tooth may be lost, because the pulp contains nerves and blood vessels that nourish the tooth. After the death of a decayed tooth, an abscess may form in the bone at the root tip.


Types of tooth decay:

  • Careers in grooves – they are formed deep grooves and fissures on the chewing surface of back teeth.
  • Caries on smooth surfaces – forms the sides of the tooth and this includes and cavities that form between teeth neighbors.
  • The root of the tooth decay – may extend below the gum line insertion. This type of decay is less common, but once formed, has a good chance to affect the dental pulp.
  • Secondary or recurrent caries – is formed where there is already a cavity.

Untreated tooth decay causes severe problems, even gum disease. Saliva helps prevent decay. Reduces damage from acids by removing sweet and sticky foods on teeth. Also, minerals in saliva help the tooth repair processes.

Expert advice
A doctor’s appointment is recommended that:

  • In the last 6 months there has been no advice.
  • There is a pain in a tooth. Sometimes. pain goes away for a while, but are evolving. A constant pain that does not go away, suggests a deep decay can lead to tooth loss.
  • There is an inflammation in the gums near the aching tooth. This means that there is complicated by an abscess cavity.

Medical specialists recommend
Your dentist is best able to evaluate tooth decay and pain.
A deep cavity may require consultation of a specialist:

  • Your endodontist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of dental pulp issues
  • Oral Maxillo Facial Surgeon specializing in mining and other operations in the oral cavity.

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the caries process:

  • Brushing – Brushing with fluoride paste or fluoride treatments may be sufficient for early caries process to be reversible.
  • If cavity filling is present – Root is a material that covers the tooth cavity and restore to original shape after dentist removed the caries process.
  • Crown replacement (recostruieste some or all teeth) – is useful when the tooth is severely affected. Crowns are used when fractured tooth or if the career is so large that a filling would not be enough.
  • Root canal, where puplic is infected – by root canal treatment, the pulp is removed.
  • extraction, if the root is seriously affected – extracted tooth is replaced with a bridge or an implant.

Untreated cavities lead to complicated and ultimately to tooth loss. Also raise the costs and duration of treatment delay.

Outpatient treatment (at home)
To reduce the cheek or jaw pain and inflammation caused by dental caries complicated you can try:

  • Applying an ice pack on the cheek – Do not use heat.
  • Administration of medication to reduce pain

Surgery is used in the most severe cases of tooth decay. If the pulp is seriously impaired, is less expensive and easier to extract the tooth, than to do a canal treatment.

During surgical treatment, oral bacteria can pass into the bloodstream causing infections in other parts of the body. People who have a condition that makes it hard to fight infection with the human organimsului need to take antibiotics before and after surgery. In this category are:

  • Artificial valves or damaged
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Depressed immune system
  • Diseases of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • Orthopedic prostheses
  • A history of bacterial endocarditis


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