Tooth(Teeth) is a hard structure,supplemented with inorganic mineral calcium, made of odontoblasts,the dentin forming cells.Tooth also supplied with nerves and blood vessels. It helps in Chewing, grinding, cutting of food materials.
Structure of Tooth
Composed of three different layers like Enamel, the outermost, Dentin the inner layer and deeper layer called pulp cavity. The outer part exposed out is named as Crown part. The part of tooth embedded inside the gum tissue is said to be Neck part. And the part adjusted into the socket rich in blood vessels is the Root.
1.Enamel –The hardest part of body and the outermost layer exposed out made of cells called Ameloblasts rich in minerals.
2. Dentin – The middle layer which is a mineralised connective tissue softer than enamel.
3. Pulp cavity – The innermost soft connective tissue richly supplied with blood capillaries and nerves, fibroblasts, Macrophages and T-lymphocytes.
A war has been occurring daily in our mouth between saliva,minerals and bacteria,food materials. Bacteria feed on food products in mouth and releases acid secretion which damages enamel of teeth.
When carbohydrate rich foods and sugars are taken, oral bacteria feeds on them and get settled onto the teeth. Due to anaerobic(lack of oxygen) conditions, they produce lactic acid which could demineralise and destructs the teeth. Saliva can neutralize the acidic pH causing remineralisation by repair process,only if had a sufficient time gap between food intake.Plaque is a thin film of micro-organisms formed over the surface of tooth, which may leads to gingivitis if not removed or cleaned properly. It is a composition of bacteria,saliva,acids and food particles. Saliva cannot penetrate into the plaque to neutralize the acidic pH.
Plaques accumulates onto the the teeth and causes decaying (holes) of teeth leading to cavities or dental caries. At initial stage, it appears as a white or black spot which can be reversed as enamel repairs it by using minerals from saliva and fluoride from toothpastes. If tooth decay continues the minerals are lost and enamel becomes weakened forming a permanent cavity which can be filled only by dentist either with silver, gold etc.,
- Dry mouth (xerostomia- lack of saliva).
- Lack of oral hygiene (not brushing properly).
- Intake of high sugar and acidic foods (junk foods).
- Lack of mineral supply ( fluoride, phosphorus,calcium).
- No time limit between snacks (repeated acid attacks).
How can be identified
As the initial cavities might not cause any pain it is difficult to identify unless you go for regular checkups. Dentist can identify at this stage. Some symptoms like
- Tooth pain,
- Visible hole
- dot on the tooth can appear by which one can confirm the cavities.
- Tooth fillings (filling the cavities or holes)
- Root canal treatment (removing the nerve and repair)
- Flouride treatment to restore the Enamel.
- Crowns (covering made of resin, porcelain, gold etc.,
- Tooth extractions (dental implant to replace the damaged pulled-out tooth).
Prevention and Natural remedies
Rather than treatment,best method is prevention.A few simple natural remedies will certainly gives us strong and healthy teeth.
- Oil pulling with coconut or sesame oil early in the morning.
- Proper brushing with fluoride rich toothpaste.
- Apply clove oil to the affected tooth before going to bed.
- Clove, ginger has powerful antibacterial properties. Increase their usage.
- Add salt to warm water and gargle for 5-10 minutes to keep your teeth healthy.
- Neem oil and tea-tree oil are very effective against tooth decay.
- turmeric, lemon, Indian gooseberry etc., are rich in antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
- Take plenty of water which keeps you hydrated and helps in secreting saliva.
- Eat natural foods like fruits,vegetables,nuts rather than junk food
- Take vitamin foods rich in vitamin -A,D,E,K.
- Prefer mineral intake rich in calcium,phosphorus,magnesium to enhance enamel growth.
Don’t forget to have regular checkups of your teeth. Be cautious while taking sugary and junk foods so as to prefer little amounts.Protect your teeth so that you can enjoy the taste of different foods so as to enjoy life.