Tooth decay treatment priority is the prevention of minerals that weaken and damage the teeth. Tooth decay treatment will assist you to weaken plaque and tartar that can irritate your gums and result in gum disease. Tooth decay that is also known as caries, cavities or dental caries occurs when the bacteria living in your mouth produce acid that begins to eat away at your teeth. Dental caries is a major public health problem globally and is the most widespread non communicable disease. Tooth decay treatment will enable YOU to stop or reverse tooth decay.
In low income countries, the majority of dental caries goes untreated. Teeth affected by caries are often pulled out when they cause pain or discomfort. Severe dental caries can affect quality of life. For instance, dental caries may cause difficulty in sleeping and in it advanced stages (abscesses), it may result in pain and chronic systemic infection. Cavities can affect anyone who have teeth.
The early manifestation of the caries process is a small patch of demineralized (softened) enamel at the tooth surface, often hidden from sight in the fissures (grooves) of teeth. The destruction spreads into the softer, sensitive part of the tooth beneath the enamel (dentine). The weakened enamel then collapses to form a cavity and the tooth is progressively destroyed. Caries can also attack the roots of teeth should they become exposed by gum recession that is more common in older adults.
This write-up will focus on : causes, symptoms, what increases your chances of getting tooth decay, prevention and tooth decay treatment.
I know what you’re thinking:
How does this write-up benefit me?
Here are the benefits; YOU will know:
- Types of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
- Causes of tooth decay.
- Symptoms of tooth decay.
- Factors that increases your chances of getting tooth decay.
- What may happen if tooth decay is not properly treated.
- How tooth decay can be prevented and
- Tooth decay treatment.
Now let me walk YOU through each sub head…
What causes tooth decay?
Cavities are caused by tooth decay – a process that occurs over a long period of time. Causes of tooth decay are:
- Poor oral hygiene practices.
- Deep tooth crevices and enamel issues.
- Improper nutrition.
- Sugary foods.
- Acidic foods and drinks.
- Avoiding visit to your dentist.
- Genetic predisposition.
- Tooth grinding and
- Dry mouth issues.
Want to know types of bacteria that causes tooth decay?
Two types of bacteria that have implicated in caries formation are Streptococci mutans and Lactobacilli Streptococci mutans produces an enzyme dextran – sucrase that converts the sucrose of food to dextrin and dextrin combines with salivary proteins to create a sticky, colourless film (plaque) on tooth surfaces. Plaque provides the haven for the activities of LACTOBACILLI and these produce lactic acid that attacks the enamel by decalcifying it.
What are the SYMPTOMS of tooth decay?
In early tooth decay tooth, you don’t usually have symptoms. The signs and symptoms of cavities or tooth decay vary, depending on their extent and location. A person experiencing caries may not be aware of the disease. As the decay gets larger, it may cause signs and symptoms such as :
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth.
- Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth.
- Pain when you bite down.
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold.
- Bad breath.
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth and
- Toothache – either continous pain keeping YOU awake or occasional sharp pain without an obvious cause.
You don’t want to miss this next part…
Anyone with teeth can be at risk of getting tooth decay or cavities. However, the following factors can increase your risk of tooth decay. They are:
- Consumption of foods and drinks that clings to your teeth for a long time. They are chips, hard candy, dried fruit, cake, cookies, dry cereal, milk, honey and soda. They are more likely to cause tooth decay than foods that are easily washed away by saliva.
- Dry mouth: Substances found in saliva counter acid produced by bacteria. Saliva prevent tooth decay by washing away food and plaque from your teeth. Also certain medications, some medical conditions, radiation to your head or neck or certain chemotherapy drugs can increase your risk of tooth decay by reducing production of saliva.
- Dental fillings or dental devices can weaken, begin to break down or develop rough edges that allows plaque to build up quickly and makes it harder to remove.
- Heart burn or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause stomach acid to flow into your mouth (reflux), wearing away the enamel of your teeth resulting in significant tooth damage.
- Not getting enough fluoride.
- Inadequate brushing.
- Frequent snacking and sipping of sugary drinks.
- Decay mostly occur in your back teeth (molars and premolars) that are harder to clean than your smoother, easy-to-reach front teeth.
- Feeding babies with milk, formula, juice or other sugar-containing liquids that remain on their teeth for hours while they asleep which can cause tooth decay.
- Cavities are more common among teenagers and older adults.
And this is where people run in to trouble…
If dental caries or tooth decay is / are not properly treated. The following serious and lasting complications may occur that include:
- Damage or broken teeth.
- Swelling or pus around a tooth.
- Tooth abscess.
- Chewing problem.
- Positioning shifts of teeth after loss of tooth.
When decay cavities become severe, you may have:
- Tooth loss which may affect your appearance, confidence as well as self-esteem.
- In rare cases, a tooth abscess that is, a pocket of pus that is caused by bacteria infection that can lead to life threatening infections.
- Pain that interfere with your day to day activities.
- Weight loss or nutritional deficiency that occur as a result of painful or difficulty in eating or chewing.
Before proceeding to tooth decay treatment. Let’s quickly examine how it can be prevented.
Although tooth decay is a common problem that is, often entirely preventable. The best way to avoid tooth decay is to keep your teeth and gums healthy as much as possible that include:
• Visiting your dentist regularly for him or her to decide how often they need based on the condition of your mouth, tooth and gums.
• Avoid smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol.
• If YOU experience dry mouth persistently that may be caused by certain medicines treatment or medicinal condition. See your dentist or general practitioner.
• Cut down on sugary, starchy food and drinks especially between meals or within an hour of going to bed.
• Brush your teeth at lest two times a day and ideally after every meal using fluoride containing tooth paste.
• Eat tooth healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables that increase saliva flow and sugar-free gum, tea and unsweetened coffee that wash away food particles.
SEEING YOUR DENTIST
Visit your dentist regularly, so early that tooth decay treatment and the prevention of decay can begin. Tooth decay is much easier and cheaper to treat in its early stages. Moreso, adult should have regular dental check-up at least once in every six (6) months.
Tooth Decay Treatment
1. Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides (Candle wood, prickly Senegal ash in English; Orin ata in Yoruba; Fasakuwa in Hausa; Korokumo in Ijaw; Fasakohiri, Atako in Itsekiri; Ujo in Urhobo) cut the stem of dried Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides into pieces and soak them in water for 48 hours. Use the water extract as mouth wash by swishing it around your mouth for 10 minutes before brushing your teeth.
Or: You can use the stem of this plant as chewing stick regularly. It is very effective in tooth decay treatment.
2. Aloe Vera (Tinya in Hausa; Ebube agu in Igbo; Ahon Erin in Yoruba) fights bacteria that causes tooth decay. Obtain Aloe Vera leaf. Cut the leaf to extract it juice. Put 1 tablespoon of the juice in your mouth and swish it around for 7 minutes. Spit it out once you are done. After that take 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera juice for tooth decay treatment.
Or: Put some Aloe Vera powder on your tooth brush and use it to brush your teeth.
3. Sugar Cane Juice (Mmri Okpete in Igbo; Ruwa ileke in Hausa; Omi ireke in Yoruba; Uwherhe in Urhobo) is rich in minerals like calcium and phosphorus that builds tooth enamel, strengthen the teeth and prevent tooth decay. It prevents bad breath that occur due to lack of minerals mentioned above. Drink 300 ml of Sugar Cane Juice daily.
Or: Chew sugar cane stick to extract it juice.
4. Avocado seeds (Piya in Hausa; Ube oyinbo in Igbo; Eso Piya in Yoruba) Grind dried Avocado seeds into powder. Rub the powder over the affected teeth and gum.
5. Porcupine Flower (Sin-kin-mini in Yoruba) crush the fresh leaves of Porcupine flower plant or grind dried bark of Porcupine flower plant into powder. Mix them with some quantity of salt water solution and swish around your mouth for 7 minutes before you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime and after dinner.
Or: You can chew the twig of Porcupine flower plant as tooth brush(chewing stick).
6. Sodom Apple (Bomubomu in Yoruba; Tumfafiya in Hausa) rub the latex of Sodom Apple over the affected teeth. Do not swallow it. After 5 minutes rinse your mouth with plain water.
Pluck the leaf and get the latex early in morning before sunrise.
7. Apple : cut an APPLE fruit in to slices. Sprinkle Black Pepper (Uziza in Igbo; Masooroo in Yoruba; Ata iyere in Yoruba) over it and consume daily for tooth decay treatment.
8. Coconut oil (Adiagbon in Yoruba; Mai allayadi in Hausa; Ano ipari in Idoma; Mmanu Aki beke in Igbo; Orikokodia in Urhobo; Kuramai kwee in Tiv). Once you wake up in the morning, before drinking or eating anything. Put 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil in your mouth. Swish it around your mouth for 7 minutes. Spit it out once you are done. After that rinse your mouth with Salt water solution. After that brush your teeth as usual. It very good for tooth decay treatment.
9. Grind the leaves or bark of Tamarind (Icheku in Igbo; Awin in Yoruba; Tsamiyar kurm in Hausa), dried Leaves of Azadirachta Indica (Neem in English; Bedo, Ko, Dongoyaro in Hausa; Ogwu akom in Igbo; Aforo oyinbo, Cassia in Yoruba). Grind both of them in to powder. Mix them together with Lemon juice (Ruwa baba lemu in Hausa; Oroma nkirisi in Igbo; Itie akpaenfi in Urhobo; Omi osan ganyin in Yoruba). Gently apply the paste over the affected teeth. After 5 minutes rinse your mouth with lukewarm water. Do it three times a day for tooth decay treatment.
10. Wheatgrass : contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron as well as Vitamin A and E that promote healthy and strong teeth. It also contains antibacterial properties that lessen pain caused by cavities or caries. Chew some Wheatgrass. Do it two times a day.
Or: Grind some dried Wheatgrass into powder. Apply the powder over the tooth affected by caries for 5 minutes. Do it twice daily.
Or: Drink 200 ml of Wheatgrass juice. Do it twice daily for tooth decay treatment.