Meaning of cavity
Dental Cavity means a space or a decayed part like a hole in the teeth. The dentists call it Caries. It is the manifestation of a disease caused by bacteria. These bacteria create acid that slowly eats into the enamel of the teeth and bores up to the dentin layer and even the pulp inside the teeth. This pitted area in the teeth is termed a cavity.
Causes of Cavity
Saliva of the mouth is a depository of bacteria. It always stays as a layer in the mouth. These bacteria get deposited on teeth as soft sticky layer called plaque. Over time the bacteria layer comes into contact with the unwashed food and other stuff in the mouth. This contact creates acid. This acid becomes the agent of damage to the teeth over time and creates cavities.
These cavities in the teeth may ultimately become very damaging. It happens when caries remains untreated for a very long time. The pitted area in the teeth slowly widens and deepens up to the dentine layer. When this soft dentin layer begins to decay the cavities broaden.
Thus the main causes of cavity are
(1) Carelessness in oral hygiene
(2) Carelessly washed mouth after meals
(3) Careless attitude towards plaque and
(4) Untreated cavities in the initial stage.
It is not easy to detect early stage cavity without a dentist’s expertise. The only early warning sign for a layman would be staining of the teeth. Over a period the teeth become sensitive. The individual starts feeling the effect of cold and hot foods and drinks on molars and premolars. Slowly the whole denture becomes sensitive. The discomfort sends the individual to a dentist. The cavities in teeth are established.
Cavities can be easily treated at an early stage. It is called re-mineralizing of the teeth. A proper oral hygiene regime is prescribed. Fluorides are suggested. Bone strengthening agents, medicines and gels are given. But the later sage cavities need proper dental procedure.
The dentists use a local anaesthesia to drill, clean and fill the cavity in the teeth. A Laser gun treatment does not require anaesthetising the area.
There are two types of fillings used for cavities: Amalgam and composite resin. The amalgam is the composite of metals like silver, mercury and copper used in areas where it is not visible. Therefore the molars and premolars are filled with metal amalgam. These are almost hidden from view at the back in the mouth.
Composite resins are used for all teeth. These are used for front as well as back teeth. The reason is that composite resins are tooth coloured substance. So these are less visible. The severity of cavity is also established to decide the use of filling material. If it is very large or deep the cavity is scraped and ceramic material is filled in. If the cavity has entered the inner pulp of the teeth it is treated with the method called a root canal procedure.