One of the most common diseases of human id dental caries or tooth decay. It is a localized infection that destroys the tooth structure and produces cavitation. It can also be described as destruction of hard tissues of the tooth caused by demineralization of enamel which is accompanied by dissolution of organic structures caused by enzymes.
However, the process of tooth decay always involves presence of bacteria mass called plaque. if left on the teeth, the bacteria, which will break down starches and sugars, producing am acid thàt can destroy tooth enamel.
The amount of sugar remains in the mouth and if the actions of bacteria are unchecked, several species of bacteria will continue the invasion until eventually the soft tissues are involved and the teeth or tooth is seriously diseased.
Signs and Symptoms
Initially, there is no pain, and only the enamel is affected.
Pain when eating hot, cold or sweet food (the dentine is affected)
When untreated it may go on to dental abscess formation and the tooth may come off a little from its socket.
Causes of Dental Caries
- Frequency of consumption of sweets and the nature of sugar consumed.
- A low standard of oral hygiene
- Failure to obtain a regular dental check-up
- Pregnancy, due to reabsorption of calcium for detention
- As an occupational disease among bakers
- Inadequate nutrition during tooth development may lead to hypo mineralized teeth.
- Floride deficiency has been associated with teeth that are non-resistant to decay.
Prevention and Control Measures to Tooth Decay
- Reduction in the consumption of sugar and other carbohydrates, which will result in a decrease in tooth decay.
- Practice a good oral hygiene which includes brushing your teeth properly. bushing immediately after eating is the best and the most damaging effects seem to be done in the first fifteen minutes (15) after sugary substances are eaten.
- A toothbrush should not be too large and should be regularly replaced.
- The teeth should be examined regularly by the dentists preferably six (6) months.
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