What is tooth decay and can it be cured?

Tooth decay –also known as dental caries-is an infectious chronic disease of hard dental tissue. Term infectious implies that some bacteria are culprit for the disease.

The main bacteria known to cause decay are:

  • Streptococcus mutans,
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus

When dietary sugars are consumed, bacteria such as those mentioned above metabolize them to acids, resulting in the demineralization of tooth surfaces. The tooth surfaces are subsequently remineralized, mainly by the saliva in these ways:

  1. Physical washing/cleansing effect
  2. Acid neutralisation
  3. Supply of calcium and phosphate ions
  4. Anti-bacterial action as it contains immunoglobulin A (Ig A) and a salivary enzyme called Lysozyme

The decay starts to form when the process of demineralization and remineralization of the tooth surface happens too frequently and the balance is tipped in favour of demineralization and acid erosion.

During decay formation, the first dental tissue to be affected is enamel. The initial decay in enamel appears as a chalky white spot. If the decay is caught at this stage, it can be reversed. To reverse the decay whilst it is still confined to enamel, the diet should be corrected, the oral hygiene has to be improved and supplementary fluoride mouth wash and fluoride tooth paste have to be used.

If the decay progresses to dentin, the unsupported enamel on top will collapse and a dental cavity will be formed. Unlike enamel, dentin is a live tissue and the decayed dentin will be sensitive and will gradually become painful.

The scientists have been working on different solutions to decay, they have worked on the concept of provision of a vaccine however so far the most effective method so far has proven to be prevention.

At Caspian Dental Clinic, we provide dietary advice, preventive fissure sealing to protect the recently erupted teeth and fluoride therapy for children and young adolescents. We also correct the appearance of old, unnaturally looking restorations such as metal fillings, discoloured white fillings, crowns and bridges. If you suffer from crooked teeth and they are stopping you from smiling confidently, we can straighten them for you with invisible braces or Inman Aligners. We are home to modern and advance general and cosmetic dentistry, conveniently located 100 yards from Bushey Train Station in Watford.

Choose us and experience excellence in dentistry.

We are Caspian, we are simply excellent. Call us on 01923254979

 

 

With many thanks to Oral_b for the image.

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