Tooth decay is the damage to the tooth that occurs when bacteria cause production of acids in your mouth leading to formation of holes in your teeth. The affected tooth appears to be broken but it is typically damaged by the germs. Tooth decay can cause a hole in the affected tooth known as cavity. The most common cause of tooth decay is the presence of leftover food that ultimately invites germs and microorganisms.
HOW IS TOOTH DECAY DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose the condition, your dentistry specialist will conduct thorough physical examination along with teeth x-ray to check your tooth and evaluate the extent of damage.
HOW IS TOOTH DECAY TREATED?
In adults, dentists can apply sealants on molars that have early signs of tooth decay, as long as the decay has not broken through the enamel. Once the enamel has been irreversibly compromised, your dentist will have to fill the tooth. In more serious cases, a root canal may be necessary.
In children, both baby molars and permanent molars can be sealed. Dentists can also apply fluoride varnish on both primary and permanent teeth to protect them from decay.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cavities are a result of poor oral hygiene and retained dental plaque on the tooth surface. Specific bacteria in plaque cause decay. Different types of bacteria in plaque, retained near the gum line, cause gum disease to occur, which is a condition that the dentist and periodontist can help treat. Because cavities can penetrate deep into the tooth structure as far as the nerve, one may also experience sensitivity with certain foods and drinks.