Dental Disease: Dental Cavities

Dental Disease: Dental Cavities

Also known as dental cavity, dental caries is a bacterial infection that destroys the hard tissues of the teeth: enamel, cementum and dentine. This occurs when bacteria ferments the food particles that accumulate on the surface of the tooth, producing acid. The acid progressively breaks down the hard tissues, forming cavities.

To date, dental caries remains one of the most common dental diseases throughout the world. This has prompted dentists and researchers to come up with long-lasting solutions to help heal affected people. Below are some of the possible treatment options a dentist would recommend to a patient suffering from dental caries.

Use of Topical Fluoride

Occasionally, it is used to prevent further damaging of the tooth and maintaining its original shape. However, it is sometimes used to transform an organic molecule to inorganic, which helps a lot in the regeneration of tooth structure. This is only effective when used in the early stages of dental caries.

Use of a Dental Hand Piece

A dentist carefully uses this tool to remove large portions of materials that have decayed in the tooth. This is a must-use tool when the decay of dentin nears the pulp of the tooth. It is a very painful process that cannot be carried out without the patient using a painkiller. Nitrous oxide is normally used in this process to relieve pain.


Materials used to restore the normal structure of the damaged tooth include dental amalgam, composite resin and porcelain. When a pleasing appearance is of grave concern, then composite resin and porcelain can be used to form a similar color to that of the patient’s teeth. However, composite restoration is not strong compared to dental amalgam, which is highly recommended by dentists when it comes to restoring the molar areas, where the forces of chewing are great. When the tooth structure has been extensively damaged, it may not be possible to place restorative materials in the tooth and crowning may be the only alternative.

Endodontic Therapy

This becomes a better option when bacteria causing the decay infect the pulp in the tooth, killing it. During this process the pulp, which includes the nerve and vascular tissues, is removed along with the portion of the tooth that has decayed.


When the decayed tooth is too rotted and can therefore not be restored effectively, or if the chances of the tooth causing more complicated problems in the future are high, then extracting it becomes the better option. Extraction is also the cheapest and fastest way to get rid of the tooth for patients who are not willing to go through the financial strain of restoring their tooth. This procedure is mostly embraced by people who are of low income.

The well being of our teeth greatly depends on our oral hygiene; we must, however, be mindful of what we eat. Consuming unimaginable amounts of sugary foodstuffs almost automatically turns you into a dental caries patient. Your teeth greatly add to your overall facial appearance, so it’s of paramount importance that they are taken good care 

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