Caries is a pathological process that manifests itself after the eruption of the teeth, at which the demineralization and softening of the hard tissues takes place, followed by the formation of the cavity.
Caries in Latin is rotting, and this word describes the condition of the teeth quite accurately in this disease. It, with a greater or less frequency, occurs in all regions, among all levels of the population and age categories.
At first glance, caries is a harmless disease, but it is the biggest problem that dentistry has encountered. According to statistics, more than 95% of people suffer from a disease in one or another stage.
In this material, we will consider a common disease - caries, what it is, its initial symptoms with photos, as well as the reasons, treatment and prevention measures that will help to avoid this problem.
Causes of caries on the teeth
The underlying cause of caries on the teeth is a local change in acidity on the tooth surface under plaque (or tartar) due to the formation of organic acids in the process of glycosylation of carbohydrates by microorganisms.
Predisposing factors that contribute to the onset of dental problems:
- unsatisfactory hygiene of the oral cavity;
- irregular dental visits;
- weak immunity of the body;
- rich in sugar and simple carbohydrates nutrition;
- low content of calcium, fluorine and phosphorus in drinking water;
- hereditary predisposition;
- dentures or braces, injuring tooth enamel and hampering hygiene procedures;
- the influence of common diseases of the body (for example, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Also, the disease can provoke - scurvy, rickets, osteochondrosis, exudative diathesis, diabetes mellitus.
In general, the main cause of tooth decay is insufficient oral care, the use of bad toothpastes, and ignoring dentists. In this regard, it is worthwhile in advance to attend to the prevention of tooth decay, as treating this problem is clearly more difficult and expensive.
Symptoms and stages
Caries, as a progressive disease, has several stages of its development. Let's briefly consider the main stages:
- Stain stage. When viewed on the surface of the tooth, a white or dark spot is found. At this stage, a person usually does not experience any unpleasant sensations.
- Surface. Carious stain in the absence of treatment grows into caries of enamel, the hard shell of the tooth breaks down. At this stage on the surface of the enamel it is already possible to distinguish between a depression or a cavity, there is a sensitivity to cold or hot.
- Average. Patients with this type of caries complain of pains from temperature, chemical and mechanical stimuli, in the elimination of which the discomfort sensations pass very quickly. The middle type is characterized by the appearance of the cavity, but affects only the surface layers of the dentin.
- Deep. It develops when, as a result of the lack of treatment, the pathological process penetrates into the near-pulp dentin. The carious cavity is filled with a softened dentin, it becomes bigger, touching it causes a tangible pain. Continued degradation of dentin leads to damage to the pulp of the tooth, resulting in pulpitis, and in the near future and periodontitis.
The process of staining on teeth is slow, so it is visually easy to see an adult and in order to get rid of caries at the initial stage, you should immediately register with the dentist.
Cervical or radical - the most dangerous form of caries that occurs on the tooth in the zone where it touches the gum and directly under it at the root of the tooth.
The disease begins with a darkening of the enamel of the tooth, the appearance in the cervical area of its small dark with time increasing in size spots. The final symptom of cervical caries is the formation of a hole, the so-called "hollow" in the tooth.
Bottle type affects the cervical areas of the upper incisors and canines and passes through several stages: the stage of demineralization, destruction of enamel, destruction of the enamel-dentine compound, deep damage to hard tooth tissues. It is mainly found in young children.
The first sign of the appearance of this disease is the appearance of light-white spots, which are located on the front teeth. An appeal to the dentist at this stage guarantees complete cure with special remineralizing gels without damaging the integrity of the teeth and unpleasant manipulations.
The most complex with regard to treatment and dangerous in its complications is the radical damage to the teeth. This form of the disease develops in the basal area. The cause of this type of caries is the anatomical features of this zone.
The main symptom of the onset of radical tooth lesions is the appearance of sharp, but brief, painful sensations when you touch the causative tooth. You can also note the darkening of the enamel, the change in its integrity, the appearance of odor from the mouth.
Caries in children
The disease can occur in a child at a very early age, when all the baby teeth have not yet formed and take their place. And already then the teeth need treatment. Otherwise, children's caries can "grow" into an adult, damaging the permanent tooth before it occurs.
With small destruction of the milk tooth, the enamel silvering procedure is performed, with large damage to its tissues - sealing. A special feature of the treatment of children's caries is the psychological factor: it is important for the dentist to calm the baby and inspire him with confidence, and having overcome his fear, to carry out the treatment within 30 minutes.
Treatment of caries
First of all, the treatment of tooth decay depends on the form and stage of the disease.
- In the initial stage, caries is treated by remineralizing therapy (applique) with a preliminary cleaning of the tooth from the plaque. The procedure is repeated until the stain disappears.
- Treatment of superficial caries, in most cases, does not require preparation and sealing. It is enough to polish the enamel surface in the affected area and perform remineralizing therapy as in the initial form.
- If caries has reached the middle stage, the treatment procedures consist in removing the affected area of the tooth. After that, the treatment with medicines and the installation of the seal are carried out.
- At a deep caries sometimes it is expedient to depulp the tooth, that is to remove a nerve. Strongly broken teeth are closed with a crown.
Modern dentistry uses various anesthetics, sedatives, allowing the patient to painlessly survive the procedure for caries treatment. Therefore, do not be afraid of the dentist, because to treat the neglected stage will be much more difficult.
How to treat tooth decay at home
If caries treatment is not carried out on time, then it is able to acquire a more severe form, for example, go into periodontitis or pulpitis, followed by tooth loss.
Therefore, if the process of tooth decay has already begun, then it is not possible to cure tooth decay at home. All home treatment is reduced to the elimination of unpleasant manifestations of the disease.
If you are at home, you have a toothache and there is a swelling of the face or jaw:
- Apply ice on the outer part of the cheek (in no case should you apply a hot water bottle).
- Take an over-the-counter painkiller, for example: ibuprofen, acetaminophen.
- Aspirin also removes swelling, but has some contraindications. It can not be taken by pregnant women, people who bleed gums and people who are not yet 20 years old.
It is important to understand that if tooth decay starts, then it will not cure itself on its own and will only progress, while folk remedies will also not help get rid of caries.
Prophylaxis of caries
For the prevention of caries it is recommended to reduce the amount of carbohydrate intake, regular oral hygiene, the use of fluorine-containing toothpastes.
You should also remember that you need to brush your teeth every day twice: in the morning, after eating, and in the evening, before going to bed. The process itself should take at least 4 minutes. The brush should be made circular movements, or do it so that the movements go from the gum to the edge of the tooth.
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