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What Causes Cavities?

CHICAGO,Illinois – There are two types of oral bacteria that produce cavities and these are the Streptococcus mutans and the Lactobacillus spp. that multiply in numbers if a patient does not practice good oral hygiene. These bacterial species are all lactic acid formers and acid, just for the information of many, can weaken whatever hard surface it comes into contact with including the tooth's enamel.

How Do Cavities Form?

As mentioned earlier, cavities are caused by two kinds of bacteria and that these bacteria are considered as normal microflora in the mouth. The moment a patient feeds on carbohydrates and any type of food, these bacteria multiply in number but they are nevertheless controlled due to proper oral hygiene such as brushing using a fluoride-based toothpaste and rinsing using mouthwash. However, the danger lies once a patient forgets to do proper oral hygiene and as a result, the bacteria exude acid and other particles into the surface of the mouth. In fact, the small chalky area that may appear in a patient's tooth is already a precursor to a cavity. To know more follow Chicago dental.

The Signs and Symptoms of Cavities

Cavities may or may not be visible to the naked eye. In fact, even if a patient has a set of perfect pearly whites, they are likely to harbor cavities inside their mouths already. In fact, a painful tooth and a visible cavity are considered to be gravid already.

Thus, a person who has cavities may not be aware of the presence of the disease but the tell-tale signs that a cavity is developing in a patient's tooth is the presence of the chalky white spot on the surface of the tooth which actually indicates that the enamel has already been demineralized.

Once both the enamel and dentin are damaged, the cavity can now be distinguished. The affected areas of the tooth now become very soft to touch. Once the dentin is broken down, the dentinal tubules which are connected to the nerve of the tooth is exposed causing toothache.

On worst cases, the cavity can also affect the soft tissues like the gums surrounding the tooth which can cause other complications like the cavernous sinus thrombosis and the Ludwig's angina which are both life threatening diseases.

Risk Factors of Cavity Formation

There are a lot of factors why cavities are formed. But basically, it boils down to four factors which include the tooth surface, bacteria, food source (carbohydrate) and the time. In fact, different individuals form cavities at different times.For instance, different individuals have different compositions for their tooth surfaces. In fact, a person who is inflicted with Amelogenesis imperfecta is more likely to be affected by cavities the fact that the enamel of their teeth are already weakened due to the disease.

There are also a lot of bacteria that reside in the mouth and that there are only two known bacteria that can cause cavities which has already been mentioned earlier but their multiplication varies from one person to the other. It might be that the mouth of a certain person is dryer than the person seating across him. Yes, saliva plays a big role in counterbalancing the effect of the acid release of bacteria. The dryer the mouth of the patients is, the more likely for the bacteria to multiply.

Food source for the bacteria also plays a major role in cavity formation. For the benefit of those who do not know it, the food source of these bacteria is carbohydrates. Thus, the more a patient eats carbohydrates, the more source of food for these bacteria to ferment and produce lactic acid in the end according to the Chicago orthodontists.

Now, this does not mean that a patient has to lower his or her carbohydrate intake. There is still the factor of time. Now if a patient eats carbs and leave their mouths for 24 hours without brushing, then they are more likely to encourage cavities to form. Compare that to a person who eats a lot but brushes after an hour. Will there be the same bacterial growth?

How To Treat Cavities

We have learned that different patients are affected with cavities differently thus, treatment for cavities also differs and depends on the different stages of the disease. For this reason, if the decay is not yet extensive, then removing the decayed portion is done. The drilled space is then filled with filling made from silver alloy, porcelain or an equally strong resin. On the other hand, if the disease is already extensive, then the damaged tooth is removed and a gold or porcelain crown is placed over the remainder of the tooth. To know more about best dentists in Chicago

How To Take Care of The Tooth After Cavity Treatment

Of course, once the dentist is through treating the patient's affected tooth, then it is up to the patient to have discipline in order to prevent the cavity from affecting other teeth. Although a patient may have one or two crowns installed on his or her teeth, this does not make him or her invincible. The patient still has other teeth to consider.

The best way to prevent other teeth from getting cavities is to watch a person's food intake. Since cavities are formed when a person eats a lot of carbohydrates, eating lesser amounts of these foods will most likely control the population of bacteria inside the mouth. Moreover, avoiding too many sweets like peanut butter and soda are also another way to prevent the formation of cavities.

On the other hand, brushing the teeth using fluoride every after meal is also a good regimen since it naturally kills the bacteria that are responsible in the formation of cavities. But then again, visiting the Chicago dentists on a regular basis is the best way to prevent cavity from coming back.

Dental Chicago is the ultimate resource guide of dental and orthodontist practitioners in Chicago, Illinois. Our users locate the right dentist or orthodontist for their needs from our comprehensive listing of over three and half thousand office and surgery locations in Chicagoland.

SOURCE: Dental Chicago

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