Caries is a pathological process that manifests itself after teething, during which demineralization and softening of hard tissues take place with the subsequent formation of a cavity.
Translated from Latin, caries means rotting, and this word quite accurately describes the state of the teeth in this disease. It is, with greater or lesser frequency, found in all regions, among all segments of the population and age categories.
At first glance, caries is a harmless disease, but it is the biggest problem faced by dentistry. According to statistics, more than 95% of people suffer from the disease in one or another stage.
In this article, we consider the common disease - caries, what it is, its initial symptoms with a photo, as well as the causes, treatment and preventive measures that will help to avoid this problem.
Causes of dental caries
The underlying cause of caries on teeth is a local change in acidity on the tooth surface under plaque (or tartar) due to the formation of organic acids during the glycolysis of carbohydrates by microorganisms.
Predisposing factors that contribute to the onset of dental problems:
- poor hygienic condition of the oral cavity;
- irregular visits to the dentist;
- weak immunity of the body;
- rich in sugar and simple carbohydrates nutrition;
- low content of calcium, fluorine and phosphorus in drinking water;
- genetic predisposition;
- dentures or braces, traumatic tooth enamel and impeding hygiene procedures;
- the influence of common diseases of the body (for example, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Also, the disease can be provoked - scurvy, rickets, osteochondrosis, exudative diathesis, diabetes mellitus.
In general, the main cause of tooth decay is inadequate oral care, the use of bad toothpastes, and the neglect of dentists. In this regard, it is worthwhile to preoccupy with prevention of caries, as it is clearly more difficult and expensive to treat this problem.
Symptoms and stages
Caries, as a progressive disease, has several stages of its development. Let's briefly review the main stages:
- Stage stains. When viewed on the surface of the tooth is detected white or dark speck. At this stage, the person usually does not experience any discomfort.
- Surface. If untreated, carious stain develops into enamel caries, destruction of the hard tooth envelope occurs. At this stage, on the surface of the enamel it is already possible to distinguish a depression or cavity, and sensitivity to cold or hot appears.
- Average. Patients with this type of caries complain of pain from temperature, chemical and mechanical stimuli, which, if eliminated, cause the discomfort to go away very quickly. The middle type is characterized by the appearance of a cavity, but affects only the surface layers of the dentin.
- Deep. It develops when, as a result of the absence of treatment, the pathological process penetrates into the pulpar dentin. The carious cavity is filled with softened dentin, it becomes larger, touching it causes tangible pain. Continuing degradation of the dentin leads to damage to the dental pulp, resulting in pulpitis, and in the near future periodontitis.
The process of the formation of stains on the teeth is slow, so it is visually easy for an adult to notice and, in order to get rid of caries at the initial stage, you should immediately sign up with a dentist.
Cervical or root - the most dangerous type of caries that occurs on the tooth in the area where it comes into contact with the gum and directly - under it at the root zone of the tooth.
The disease begins with a darkening of the tooth enamel, the appearance in the cervical area of a small dark spot with an increase in size with time. The final symptom of cervical caries is the formation of a hole, the so-called "hollow" in the tooth.
The bottle type affects the cervical areas of the upper incisors and canines and goes through several stages: the stage of demineralization, the destruction of the enamel, the destruction of the enamel-dentin joint, the deep destruction of the hard tissues of the tooth. Mostly found in young children.
The first sign of this disease is the appearance of light white spots that are located on the front teeth. Appealing to the dentist at this stage guarantees a complete cure with special remineralizing gels without damaging the integrity of the teeth and unpleasant manipulations.
The most difficult in relation to treatment and dangerous in its complications is the root damage of the teeth. This form of the disease develops in the root area. The reason for this type of caries is the anatomical features of this area.
The main symptom of the beginning of the root damage of the tooth is the appearance of sharp, but short-term painful sensations when touching the causal tooth. You can also note the darkening of the enamel, changing its integrity, odor from the mouth.
The disease can appear in a child at a very early age, when all the milk teeth have not yet had time to form and take their place. And then the teeth need treatment. Otherwise, children's caries can "outgrow" into an adult, damaging a permanent tooth before it occurs.
In case of minor destruction of the baby tooth, the procedure of silvering the enamel is carried out, with a large damage to its tissues - filling. The peculiarity of the treatment of children's caries is a psychological factor: it is important for the dentist to soothe the baby and bring him confidence, and overcoming his fear, carry out the treatment for 30 minutes.
Treatment of caries
First of all, the treatment of dental caries depends on the form and stage of the disease.
- In the initial stage, caries is treated by the method of remineralizing therapy (application) with preliminary cleaning of the tooth from plaque. The procedure is repeated until the stain disappears.
- Treatment of surface caries, in most cases, does not require preparation and filling. Enough to grind the surface of the enamel in the affected area and conduct remineralizing therapy as in the initial form.
- If the caries has reached the middle stage, the treatment procedures consist in removing the affected tooth area. After that, the processing of drugs and the installation of the seal.
- With deep caries, it is sometimes advisable to depulp a tooth, that is, to remove a nerve. Heavily destroyed teeth are covered with a crown.
Modern dentistry uses a variety of anesthetics, sedatives, allowing the patient to relive the caries treatment procedure without serious consequences. Therefore, do not be afraid of the dentist, because it will be much more difficult to treat the advanced stages.
How to treat caries at home
If the treatment of caries is not carried out in time, then it is able to acquire a more severe form, for example, go into periodontitis or pulpitis, with subsequent loss of a tooth.
Therefore, if the process of tooth decay has already begun, then it is not possible to cure caries at home. All home treatment is to eliminate the unpleasant manifestations of the disease.
If you are at home, you have a toothache and swelling of the face or jaw is observed:
- Apply ice to the outer part of the cheek (in no case should you put a hot water bottle).
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen.
- Aspirin also relieves swelling, but has some contraindications. It should not be taken by pregnant women, people who have gums that bleed and people who have not yet turned 20 years old.
It is important to understand that if the destruction of the tooth began, then it will not be cured on its own and will only progress, while the folk remedies also will not help to get rid of caries.
Prevention of caries
In order to prevent caries, it is recommended to reduce the amount of carbohydrate intake, regular hygiene of the oral cavity, the use of fluoride toothpastes.
You should also remember that brushing your teeth every day you need twice: in the morning, after eating, and in the evening, before going to bed. The process itself should take at least 4 minutes. It is necessary to make circular movements with a brush, or to do it so that the movements go from the gum to the edge of the tooth.