Tooth Decay, Cavities, Caries
Dental Problems » Tooth Decay, Cavities, Caries
Do you know what the #1 chronic childhood illness is?
Tooth decay. It is one of the most common of all disorders, second only to the common cold. It usually occurs in children and young adults but can affect anyone. It is a common cause of tooth loss in younger people. Bacteria is normally present in the mouth and changes food into acids. The combination of bacteria, acids, food debris, and saliva form plaque.
Plaque begins to form 20 minutes after eating and if not removed by proper brushing and flossing the decay process begins. As the acids in the plaque begin to weaken and dissolve the enamel, holes in the teeth are created. This is what we call Cavities or Caries.
Cavities are usually painless until they grow closer to the nerve or center of the tooth. Untreated decay destroys the enamel and the internal structure of the tooth thus resulting in root canals or loss of the teeth.
How is decay diagnosed?
Decay is diagnosed in a number of ways which include: