Dental caries occurs when acid is produced from plaque which causes demineralisation of the enamel and dentine. Plaque is a biofilm that forms and attaches to a tooth surface and can be wiped away.
If plaque is left to build up it can lead to dental caries, Periodontal disease or even lead to a dental abscess.
Symptoms of Dental Caries
Dental caries does not have to be associate with pain or sensitivity. Routine X-ray taken periodically can diagnose underlying issues.
Symptoms of Dental caries:
- Sensitivity - discomfort to hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks
- Colour changes to the white enamel - usually a brown or black spots on the offending tooth
- Bad breath and or unpleasant taste in your mouth
Early detection with regular dental check-ups can prevent dental caries leading to a dental abscess. It is more cost effective to treat dental caries early than to have root canal therapy and more extensive restorative work.
Treatment for dental caries
Treatment of Dental caries depends on how advanced it is:
- Fluoride helps to protect teeth by strengthening the enamel, making teeth more resistant to the acids from plaque that can cause tooth decay.
- Simple fillings
- Root canal therapy
- Extraction – if a tooth has been left to the point that we are unable to treat it then it will need to be extracted!
Prevention, Prevention, Prevention!
To avoid dental caries it is vital to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Visit your dentist for regular check ups
- Reduce your sugar intake – this is not as easy as it sounds nowadays as there are many hidden sugars in foods we think are healthy!
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, using floss and an interdental brush at least once a day
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol consumption