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Dr. Apurva Mittal 88% (14 ratings)
BDS, Diploma in Hospital Administration, Diploma in Pharmacy
Dentist, Delhi  •  23 years experience
How To Prevent Dental Cavities

Dental cavities, often the result of tooth decay is a natural factor that occurs in all humans. However, depending upon the amount of care that you give to your teeth, dental cavities usually occur at different time periods for different people. For children who eat a lot of sweets, dental cavities are likely to arise at an early age if they do not protect their teeth by brushing them in the morning and at night. Similarly, dental cavities can also arise in young people, and is one of the prime reasons for loss of teeth. In order to understand how to take care of dental activities, it is important to first understand what causes them.

Causes

Bacteria usually lives within a person's mouth. The bacteria are responsible for converting the food in to acids. The food pieces, mixed with the acids, the bacteria and the saliva all combine, resulting in the formation of a sticky substance known as plaque. As a person chews his food, the plaque tends to get stuck to the teeth. Over the passage of time, as the plaque is not removed from the teeth, it turns in to a substance which is known as tartar. The tartar begins to irritate the gums, which results in diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Tooth decay begins to take place if the plaque is not removed from the teeth. For an average person, plaque begins to set in 20 minutes after eating, ultimately damaging the enamel on your teeth, and creating holes in your teeth, which in dental terminology, are regarded as dental cavities. Caring for dental cavities is not an overnight procedure; a person needs to be consistent in cleaning their teeth. However, once dental cavities, or the holes, have been formed in a person's teeth, they can only be rectified by a professional dentist.

Treatment

Filling is one of the most common treatments chosen by individuals who have dental cavities. Dentists usually fill the teeth by first removing the decayed material with the help of a drill, and then use another material, often being porcelain or composite resin, in order to fill it up. In some instances, gold, silver and platinum are also used. For frontal teeth, porcelain and composite resin are usually preferred, as they both match the appearance of natural teeth in a person.

The second method is 'crowning. If the tooth structure is significantly limited and the dental cavities are extensive, this might be the preferred option. The first step is the removal of the decayed or damaged area. Once the damaged part has been removed, a crown is placed over the top of the tooth, hence covering the area. Often times, the crown is made out of metal or composite resin or porcelain, and is affixed with a metallic structure.
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