Who in this world is not fond of sweets, probably no one. But yes a few people with medical conditions like Diabetes mellitus have to stay away from sugary foods. A love for sugary foods is more commonly seen among children, so Cavities are generally more common in children. Adults are no exception to that.
Cavities or Dental Caries are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities once initiated cannot be reverted back. Formation of Cavities is an irreversible process.
Two main factors responsible for Cavities are SUGARS and BACTERIA. The cause of Caries is a Bacterial breakdown of the hard tissues of the teeth(Enamel, Dentin and Cementum). This occurs due to ACID made from Sugar or food debris on the tooth surface. Simple Sugars in food are these Bacterial primary energy source
and thus a diet high in simple Sugar is a risk factor.
Bacteria + Sugars + Teeth = Acids = Caries/ Cavities
Cavities are very serious. If left untreated a Cavity can destroy the tooth and kill the delicate nerves at its centre which may result in an abscess, an area of infection at the root tip. Once an abscess forms, it can only be treated with a Root Canal surgery or by extracting the tooth.
Cavities are most likely to develop in pits on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, in between teeth and near the gum line. But regardless of where they occur, the best way is to spot them and treat them before they become serious is by visiting your dentist regularly for checkups.
Cavities can be of various types depending upon their location-
1. Coronal Cavities - The most common type, occurring in both children and adults. These are usually located on chewing surfaces or between the teeth.
2. Root Cavities - As we age, our gums recede, leaving parts of the tooth root exposed. Since there is no enamel covering tooth roots, these exposed areas easily decay.
3. Recurrent decay - Decay can form around existing fillings and crowns. This is because these areas may have a tendency to accumulate plaque, which can ultimately lead to decay.
Following basic steps can be taken for the prevention of Caries-
1. Rinse mouth properly after eating anything.
2. Brush twice daily, brushing at night time before going to the bed is a must.
3. Floss daily to remove plaque present between teeth and below the gum line.
4. A balanced diet with limited sugary foods should be taken. If all sugary foods are taken, try to eat them with meals instead of as a snack to minimise the number of times that the teeth are exposed to acid.
5. Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste.
6. Make sure that children’s drinking water is fluoridated. If not, your dentist or paediatrician may prescribe daily fluoride supplements.
7. Have regular dental checkup’s. Preventive care can help stop problems from occurring and keep minor problems from becoming major ones.