Dental Cavities and their fillings

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Tooth Decay is one of the most common chronic condition of childhood.

Dental caries (cavities), more commonly called as Tooth Decay, are caused by breakdown of tooth enamel.

This is a result of bacterial action on teeth that breakdowns food residue and produce acid that decays tooth resulting in tooth decay.

The damage is permanent and doesn’t resolve over time. It needs proper treatment, otherwise progresses further and invades deeper layer of tooth.

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CAUSES

 The common causes are:

  • Frequent snacking, especially in between meals.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Excess consumption of sugary foods.
  • Tobacco use increases the risk.
  • High intake of Acidic foods and drinks.
  • People suffering with Dry mouth.
  • This can be associated with radiation exposure.
  • As a result of intake of certain medications.

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SYMPTOMS

There are usually no symptoms and the person may be unaware.

The earliest sign is chalky white appearance or a white spot.

As the cavity progresses, it turns brown and brown-black.

The cavity is more noticeable as deeper layers are involved.

Sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet or sour food is experienced. Tooth pain may be present in severe case.

TREATMENT

Treatment includes Fluoride, Fillings and Crown. Severe cases require Root Canal Treatment or tooth removal.

Fillings- The decay is removed and filled with material like Gold, Amalgam, Composite and Porcelain. No one type of filling is best for everyone.

The choice of filling depends upon the extent of decay, allergies to certain material, etc.

If the decay is extensive, “Crown” or cap is required.

Once the decay reaches the nerve, either Root Canal Therapy or pulp capping procedures may be required.

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