Dental Caries, also known as tooth decay to many people, is a problem encountered by most people especially during childhood. To some, it may even bring a shiver down your spine as you remember the painful episodes.
Caries is a result of acid breakdown of the tooth structure forming a cavity. The acid is produced by the bacteria acting on the food debris or plaque left on the food surface over a period of time.
As the cavity enlarges, it penetrates the different layers of the tooth. It eventually invade the dental pulp where the bacteria enters and cause the nerve of the tooth to die. Hence the pain and sensitivity commonly experienced in caries.
As the nerve of the tooth slowly dies off, the bacteria rapidly multiply in number and form pus that may result in an abscess in the supporting bone.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
If left untreated, there will be infection of the dental pulp and supporting bone as the cavity enlarges. When the dentist diagnose the tooth as poor prognosis or unrestorable, the tooth may then have to be extracted.
We advise that early intervention by seeking treatment from the dentist. Many people do not realize that the longer the delay, the greater the extent of tooth destruction, and hence more complex treatment is required.