"Prevention of Tooth Decay and Cavities" is an incredible example of a paper on dental health. Cavity, plaque, bad breath and swollen gums are all signs of bad oral health. Almost all dental problems begin with the formation of bacteria in the mouth which is not a complicated issue if proper cleaning of the mouth is ensured. The problem begins when these bacteria form a permanent residence in the orifice which leads to groups of bacteria and mucus-forming a yellowish-white layer on the surface of the teeth known as dental or bacterial plaque. Plaque, if not properly treated leads to cavities or dental caries.
Cavities occur as a consequence of tooth decay, they are basically holes formed in the tooth enamel and even deeper down to the inner layer of teeth known as dentin (Silverstein, Silverstein & Nunn, 1999). Cavities destroy the tooth structure and shape and lead to the further disintegration of the oral cavity. If sugar is commonly consumed in the presence of plaque, the acid from the plaque dissolves in the tooth, eating away the enamel and destroying teeth by forming holes in them. Cavities are most common in children for the simple reason regarding their high carbohydrate intake due to their inclination towards sugary food but this is also becoming a common problem in adults.
Adults who sip tea, coffee or other caffeinated drinks at different intervals throughout the day are at a high risk of developing cavities. Also, women who are pregnant or lactating mothers might also develop cavities due to their sugary cravings. Old aged people are also prone to cavities due to their age factor and the changes associated with it, such as a general weakening of bones and a lack of fluoride and calcium.
Older adults who have already gotten their cavities filled once might also re-experience cavities as the fillings start getting decayed by the presence of bacteria. Tooth decay initiates with the development of pallid spots on the teeth caused by a lack of calcium. These spots if untreated form lesions causing the enamel to break down and once this layer starts degenerating, the damage is permanent (Scheid, Weiss & Woelfel, 2012). These lesions grow deeper and deeper and if they are still left uncured make their way to the dentine.
The cavity must be filled by a dentist because if it is kept open food particles may deposit in it subsequently damaging the innermost pulp where the blood vessels are found. It is hard to detect cavities in the initial stages of formation since they are not easily visible. They can only be detected by a dentist with the help of sophisticated dentine instruments. As the cavity advances deeper through the enamel is when the bearer actually starts feeling sensations towards hot or cold temperatures and develops sensitivity to sweet foods.
The pain gets immense as the cavity has reached the pulp where the blood vessels are affected; this might lead to swelling of the gums (Fejerskov & Kidd, 2008). There are various treatments available for curing cavities depending on the stage of damage that has been caused. If the tooth decay is not very wide-ranging, the cavity can be treated by a simple procedure which involves drilling down the effected tooth and filling it with porcelain or any metal.
Crowns are also used in treating cavities and the final resort where the tooth has been severely damaged is a root canal. Prevention is always better than cure so visiting a dentist on a regular basis is advised.
Silverstein, A., Silverstein, V. B., & Nunn, L. S. (1999). Tooth Decay and Cavities. New York: Franklin Watts.
Scheid, R. C., Weiss, G., & Woelfel, J. B. (2012). Woelfel's dental anatomy. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Fejerskov, O., & Kidd, E. A. M. (2008). Dental caries: The disease and its clinical management. Oxford: Blackwell Munksgaard.