Tooth decay describes the condition wherein the tooth, under a variety of harsh conditions, breaks down leading to the formation of a cavity. It starts with a hole/opening in the enamel. If this is not treated, it progressively reaches the deeper sections of the tooth, where the pulp and the nerves are causing the tooth to become sensitive to a variety of stimuli, a variety of gum problem such as inflammation and swelling, pain, and ultimately tooth loss.
Tooth decay is a common dental ailment that may occur at any time of age. However, since the onset of tooth decay is strongly related to the unregulated consumption of sweet foods and beverages; it tends to affect the young and adolescents more than any other age. One form is diagnosed in nursing infants and is referred to as nursing caries.
Proper Oral Hygiene : Irregular & improper brushing, not flossing between teeth, not rinsing with water or mouthwash after meals speed up the process of tooth decay.
Unregulated Diet of sweet food and drinks : Periodic snacking on aerated drinks, jam, marmalade, even potato chips can lead to the formation of acidic by products which damage the surface of the tooth enamel. This is the reason why most young children adolescents suffer from tooth decay.
If you have developed black or brown spots of decay on your teeth either in the fissures or on the smooth surfaces and it is associated with discomfort and / or sensitivity to hot and cold and / or frank pain, it is likely that you have tooth decay. Your dentist will evaluate you comprehensively and based on his clinical and radiographic findings he will do one of the following;
Make an opening in the crown and remove decay, shape the cavity and fill it with a tooth colored filling or an amalgam filling. This could also be done under local anaesthesia.
If the decay is very deep and the pulp (nerve, root canal) is involved in the decay process he will, under local anaesthesia go deeper into the pulp chamber, remove the pulp and the nerve, render it free of infection, do a root filling and later put an amalgam or a tooth colored filling. Subsequently he will put a veneer or a crown on the tooth as the case may be.
Without treatment, infection will spread, bone around the tooth will degenerate and the tooth may fall out. Pain usually increases until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative now is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift and weaken. Though an extraction is cheaper, an implant or a bridge to replace the tooth can be more expensive than root canal therapy. If you have a choice, it is always advisable to keep your original teeth. However, there are limitations, and the times a root canal therapy might not be possible. Allow your dentist to decide.
After the inside of your tooth has been treated, the outside will be restored to protect your tooth's underlying structures and give your tooth a healthy appearance. After Root Canal Therapy your tooth should function and feel like your tooth should function and feel like your other teeth. Take care of your treated tooth the same way you would your other teeth. Brush and floss regularly. It is advisable to visit your Dentist regularly for preventive check-ups. Your Dentist is trained to see hidden problems that you cannot.
The word periodontal literally means "around the tooth" Health gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. Where the gum line meets the tooth, it forms a slight v-shaped crevice called a sulcus. In healthy teeth, this space is usually three millimeters or less.
Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the tissues and bone that support teeth. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket that is greater than three millimeters. Generally, the more servere the disease, the greater the pocket depth and bone loss. The enlarged pockets allow harmful bacteria to grow and make it difficult to practice effective oral hygiene. Left untreated, periodontal diseases may eventually lead to tooth loss.
The mouth is filled with countless bacteria. Periodontal disease begins when certain bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth and the surfaces lining the mouth) produce toxins and enzymes that irritate the gums and cause inflammation. The resulting inflammation, which may be painless, can damage the attachment of the gums and bone to the tooth.
Good oral hygiene-brushing twice a day and flossing or using another interdental cleaner once a day-helps reduce the plaque film. Plaque that is not removed regularly can harden into rough porous deposits called calculus, or tartar. Tartar is not the main cause of periodontal diseases, but the pores in tartar hold bacteria and toxins, which are impossible to remove even with regular brushing. Once the hardened tartar forms, it can only be removed when teeth are cleaned professionally at the dental office.
There are several factors that increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
Studies have shown that People who smoke or chew tobacco are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth. They also are more likely to have deeper pockets between their teeth and gums and greater loss of bone and tissue that support teeth. Gum treatment is also less successful in patients who continue to smoke.
Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV infections, and AIDS can lower the body's resistance to infection, making periodontal diseases more servere.(Systemic diseases are those diseases that can affect the body as a whole).
Many medications-such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure drugs and oral contraceptives-can affect the gums. Some medications have side effects that reduce saliva. A lack of saliva can result in a chronically dry mouth, which can irritate the soft tissues. Update your medical history files at the dental office, to include all medications and any changes that occur in your health.
Bridges that no longer fit properly, crooked, crowded teeth, or fillings that have become defective may hold plaque in place and increase the risk of developing periodontal diseases.
Puberty, pregnancy, and oral contraceptives change the body's hormone levels. This can cause gum tissue to become more sensitive to toxins and enzymes and can accelerate growth of some bacteria.
Genetics may play a role. Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive, severe type of periodontitis. Patients with a family history of tooth loss or those who have parents wearing dentures should pay particular attention to their gums.
According to some studies, periodontal disease may be passed from parents to children and between couples. Research suggests that bacteria causing periodontal diseases are passed through saliva.
Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal diseases without noticeable symptoms. That is why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.
Several warning signs can signal a problem. While periodontal disease may begin slowly for some patients. Others may develop a rapidly slowly for some patients, others may develop a rapidly progressive form of the disease. If you notice any of the following. See you dentist:
Gums that bleed easily
Red, swollen, or tender gums.
Gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
Persistent bad breath.
Pus between the teeth and gums.
Looser or separating teeth.
A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
There are many types of periodontal diseases and they can affect individuals of all ages from children to seniors.
GINGIVITIS is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral care at home.
CHRONIC PERIODONTITS is a form of periodontal disease that results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth. Patients experience progressive loss of tissue attachment and bone. Chronic periodontitis is characterized by pocket formation and/ or recession of gum tissue and is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
AGGRESSIVE PERIODONTITIS is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue attachment and destruction of bone. This disease may occur in localized or generalized patterns.
PERIODONTITIS AS A MANIFESTATION OF SYSTEMIC DISEASES This form of periodontitis is associated with one of several systemic diseases, such as diabetes. Patients who have rare but specified blood diseases or genetic disorders frequently show signs of periodontal diseases.
NECROTIZING PERIODONTAL DISEASES are infections characterized by necrosis (death) of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesion are most commonly associated with pain, bleeding, and a foul odor. Contributing factors can include emotional stress, tobacco use and HIV infection.
A good oral hygiene routine practiced for a few minutes twice a day can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal diseases and tooth decay. When choosing dental care products, look for those that display the American Dental Association's seal of Acceptance. The seal of Acceptance is your assurance the product meets the ADA's criteria for safety and effectiveness for its intended use.
Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste with thorough brushing, you can remove plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Your dentist or dental hygienist can show you a proper brushing technique.
Clean between teeth once a day with dental floss or another interdental cleaner to remove plaque and debris from areas your toothbrush can't reach.
If you need extra help controlling gingivitis and plaque that forms above the gum line, your dentist may recommend using an ADA-acceptance antimicrobial mouthrinse or other oral hygiene aids as an effective addition to your daily oral hygiene routine.
Eat a balanced diet for good general health and limit snacks.
Visit your dentist regularly. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar, which traps bacteria along the gum line.
During your dental checkup, the dentist examines your gums. This is called a periodontal examination. A periodontal probe is gently used to measure the depth of the sulcus surrounding each tooth. The depth of the healthy sulcus is usually three millimeters or less. The periodontal probe can indicate whether you have developed any pockets and the depth of those pockets. Generally, the more severe the disease, the deeper the pocket.
Dental X-rays also may be taken to evaluate the amount of bone supporting the teeth and to detect other problems not visible during the clinical examination. If periodontal disease is diagnosed, the dentist may provide treatment or may refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases.
Periodontal treatment methods depends upon the type and severity of the disease. If the disease is caught very early and no damage has been done, you may simply be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene.
The first non surgical step usually involves a special cleaning, called scaling and root planning, to remove plaque and tartar deposits on the tooth and root surfaces. This procedures helps gum tissues to heal and pockets to shrink. This is sometimes reffered to as "periodontal" or "deep cleaning" and may take more than one visit.
Your dentist also may recommend medications to help control infection and pain, or to aid healing. These medications could include a pill, a mouthrinse, or a substance that the dentist places directly in the periodontal pocket after scaling and root planning. Your dentist may also stress the need to control any related systemic disease, like diabetes.
At the next visit, the dentist checks the pocket depth to determine the effect of the scaling and root planning. If the disease has advanced to the point where the periodontal pockets are deep and the supporting bone is lost, surgery may be necessary. You may be referred to a periodontist for this treatment.
When the sulcus develops deep pockets, it is difficult to completely remove plaque and tartar even with thorough daily oral hygiene. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planning, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce the pocket depth and make teeth easier to keep clean.
Surgery allows the dentist to access hard-to-reach areas that require the removal of tartar and plaque. The gums are sutured back into place or into a new position to make tissue snug around the tooth.
Bone surgery, including bone grafts, may be used to rebuild or reshape bone destroyed by periodontal disease. Splints, bite guards or other appliances may be used to stabilize loose teeth and to aid the regeneration of tissue during healing. If excessive gum tissue has been lost, a gum graft may be performed.
After surgery, the dentist may apply a protective dressing over teeth and gums and a special mouthrinse may be recommended or prescribed. An antibiotic and mild pain reliever also may be prescribed.
Once your periodontal treatment is completed, your dentist will want to see you at regular intervals. In some cases, your appointments may alternate between your general dentist and a periodontist. Your dentist may recommend more frequent checkups. Daily cleaning helps keep the plaque under control and reduces tartar formation, but it won't completely prevent it. Have your teeth cleaned regularly at the dental office to reduce plaque and remove calculus from places your toothbrush and floss may have missed.
If you use tobacco, ask your dentist or physician for information about how to successfully stop the habit. Tobacco contains chemicals that can slow the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable.
Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or from recurring. It just takes a few minutes twice a day to care for your teeth and gums.
Good dental health is established early in life. Oral care should begin soon after the baby's birth. Gums should be cleaned after each feeding. You can begin brushing your child's teeth as soon as they appear, using a super soft toothbrush.
Ideally, your child's first dental visit should be by the first birthday. Your dentist will check for decay and other problems, teach you how to clean your child's teeth and identify your child's fluoride needs. By starting dental visits early, you'll help your child build a lifetime of good dental habits.
Yes, when babies are teething they often have sore and tender gums. The pain usually can be soothed by gently rubbing the baby's gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze. Teething does not cause fever or diaorrhoea. If your child has an elevated temperature, it needs to be addressed as a separate medical concern.
Yes, even though they will eventually fall out, milk teeth can get cavities and may need to be treated. As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One serious form of decay among young children is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Babies shouldn't fall asleep with bottles in their mouths-the sugar in juices or milk formulas can cause tooth decay, leading to cavities, dental discomfort, and even tooth loss. Plain water is usually best.
Sucking is a natural behaviour for babies. Many infants begin sucking their thumbs or using pacifiers within three months of birth. Neither habit generally poses a dental problem if it is discontinued before the child's first permanent teeth erupt.
As a child's permanent teeth erupt, the Dentist can prevent cavities from forming with the help of sealants and fluoride treatment. Sealants are a safe, painless and low-cost way to help protect your child's teeth from decay. The sealant is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars, and thus prevents these teeth from decay. Fluoride application is a single sitting procedure done once every six months to make the tooth structure stronger and prevents cavities.
A milk tooth usually stays in until a permanent tooth underneath pushes it out and takes its place. Unfortunately, some children lose a milk tooth too soon. If this happens, the teeth beside it may move into the empty space resulting in lack of space for the permanent teeth, leading to crowding. This can be prevented by the use of space maintainers. It is more affordable-and easier on your child-to keep teeth in normal positions with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with orthodontic treatment.
The process of straightening teeth, is called Orthodontics. It may be loosely defined as the science of moving teeth, straightening irregular, crowded or improperly placed teeth. Dentists who are specially qualified in this area of expertise are referred to as Orthodontistis.
The treatment is certainly not painless, but the pain is mild and lasts from 3 to 7 days after a visit to the Orthodontist. After this, there is no pain. During subsequent adjustments or wire changes, there may be mild pain.
Recent advances in Orthodontics have made treatment far more comfortable. The braces become a part of you, just like a pair of spectacles.
You can continue to eat your favourite foods but they will have to be prepared specially. Your food will have to be softened, or cut into small pieces, or be well-cooked before eating. Ice cream and colas may be had as usual but corn will have to be sliced off the cob, hard fruits will need to be sliced, nuts and chikki ground and chocolate must not be eaten after refrigeration.
Foods that are best avoided are popcorn, sticky chocolates, hard nuts and fruits, hard crusts and chewing gum. These foods can break or loosen your braces making you uncomfortable and can delay treatment.
You may have to wear small elastic bands which you change regularly. Some treatment requires a retractor or head gear, a lip bumper and other functional appliances which your orthodontist will show you how to use. Report any untoward change or damage of the braces immediately.
Not at all. You will only need to take reasonable care of your braces during contact sports like boxing, football, hockey, cricket etc. to prevent damage to the braces and injury to the teeth and lips.
Missing teeth detract from your appearance and make eating and speaking more difficult. Missing teeth, if not replaced, will cause a loss of space by drifting of adjacent teeth into this space. This gives rise to food accumulation, difficulty in cleaning the teeth and hence leads to decay and tartar formation. As the pressure of chewing is not evenly distributed because of loss of tooth, it may lead to destruction of gum and bone.
These are artificial tooth supports surgically fixed in the jaw to replace any number of missing teeth. This procedure is best for patients not comfortable with conventional dentures but have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the Implant.
Esthetics Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth; no one will ever know that you have replacements teeth. When teeth are missing, the surrounding bone begins to shrink and eventually your jawbone will recede. Dental implants can prevent deterioration of the jawbone caused by loss of teeth, and your face will retain its natural shape.
Saving Existing Teeth Dental implants do not sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a traditional bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, an important long-term benefit to your oral health.
If you have one or more missing teeth and generally good oral health, you are likely a candidate for an Innova Dental Implant. A consultation with your dentist will clarify what type of treatment you require.
Once you and your doctor have identified your treatment plan, having a dental implant placed can be as simple as 1-2-3.
Step 1: An Innova Dental Implant is placed into your jawbone. The implant replaces the natural tooth and provides structural support.
Step 2: Once the implant has integrated into your jawbone, in a simple procedure, the implant is uncovered and a post is attached to it. Impressions (models) of your upper and lower jaw are taken and sent to a laboratory for the creation of your new tooth/teeth.
Step 3: Your new tooth/teeth are attached to the implant posts and are fully functional.
Due to advances in materials and techniques during the past 25 years, cosmetic dentistry has made great gains. Today, there are many options for solving cosmetic dental problems. Because of these new procedures and materials, you can have more natural-looking and attractive teeth.
If you don't like the shape of your teeth, their contours can be changed for a more pleasing appearance. If the color is too dark, you can try professional bleaching. Chips, cracks or fractures can be repaired with bonding, and veneers can cover a multitude of problems like gaps, stains, poor shape, or teeth that are out of alignment. Tooth-colored materials are used to repair decay, and sealants help protect the teeth.
Less visible and "invisible" braces may help make treatment possible for those individuals who have important cosmetic concerns. The braces may be placed on back side of teeth so they are not visible. In some cases, treatment may be done without using braces at all ---by using a series of clear plastic removable mouthpiece-like aligners.
Because of these new procedures and materials, you can have more natural-looking and attractive teeth.
Veneers - thin custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front side of teeth. Made of tooth-colored materials, veneers are used to treat spaces between teeth and teeth that are permanently stained, poorly shaped or slightly crooked. They may also cover teeth that are chipped or worn.
Tooth Whitening - also called bleaching --- is a procedure that brightens teeth that are discolored, stained, or have been darkened because of injury. It can be performed on living teeth or teeth that have had root canal treatment.
Bonding - Cosmetic procedures that can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have spaces between them. With bonding, tooth-colored materials are attached, or bonded, to a tooth surface. The process can improve unsightly stains from coffee, tea, tobacco or certain childhood medications; front-tooth spaces; and accident-induced cracks or chips. Bonding also is used to protect exposed tooth roots that result from gum recession and to fill small cavities. Bonding usually lasts from three to five years.
Enamel Shaping - a process of shaping, or contouring natural teeth to improve their overall appearance. When teeth are slightly crowded or uneven, or when eye teeth appear too long, enamel shaping may be used to correct the flaw.
Porcelain Laminate Veneers are coating crafted out of porcelain that are bonded to the front surface of a tooth. These veneers greatly enhance the look of your smile with as little discomfort as possible. These veneers are made to suit the patient's individual needs and are indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Veneers can be placed on teeth with minimal tooth preparation. They look feel completely natural. A beautiful result is achieved in just a few days time, and can last for many years. The texture and finish of porcelain veneers make them highly resistant to external staining. Due to their durability, looks and comfort, veneers have become one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments available today. Veneers today are widely used by people in the entertainment field and show business to obtain a beautiful smile.
Look after your veneers well. Brush and floss as you regularly do. Use non abrasive toothpaste to help maintain the shine and gloss of your veneers. Normal diet will not harm your veneers. Avoid any shearing force on these teeth [like biting sugarcane].
Regular check ups will ensure your veneers are in excellent shape. Well maintained veneers should last you for many years and give you a long lasting and beautiful smile.
A Crown, often called a "cap" covers the entire tooth, unlike a veneer which covers only the front surface of a tooth. A crown requires more shaping of the tooth structure and is often used to strengthen a weak or broken tooth. Crowns are extremely durable, aesthetic and are commonly used in the front and the back of the mouth.
Tooth Shaping : Your Dentist will reshape the tooth, to create space all around it for the crown.
Impressioning : A measurement of the prepared tooth and of the surrounding and opposing teeth is taken. Your measurements are then sent to a dental laboratory for processing of the crown.
Temporary Crown : Meanwhile, a temporary crown may be placed. Take care of your temporary crown by avoiding sticky and hard foods and be sure to clean around it.
Cementation : Soon, your Dentist replaces your temporary crown with a permanent one. The crown is adjusted, making sure you are comfortable with it. It is then cemented or bonded to the prepared tooth.
In the unlikely event of your crown or veneer coming off, keep it safely and contact your Dentist immediately. These can generally be refixed.
People from all walks of like can greatly benefit from the improved confidence a better smile can give. With proper care, Veneers and Crowns will enhance your dental health and beauty for a long time to come.