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Tooth decay is a common disorder, second only to the common cold. It usually occurs in children and young adults, but can affect any person. Tooth decay is a common cause of tooth loss in younger people.
Bacteria are normally found in your mouth. These bacteria convert what you eat, primarily starches and sugars into acids. Food, saliva, bacteria, and the acid produced mix to form plaque. This plaque will stick to your teeth and is commonly located in the hind molars, above the gum line, and ends of fillings.
If plaque is not removed then it can turn into tartar or calculus which cause discomfort in the gums and can lead to conditions such as gingivitis or periodontitis. If allowed to spread, it will lead to a larger area of the tooth being lost, treatment will become more complicated, and therefore the costs of treatment will increase.
For diagnosis of dental caries, apart from visual confirmation and the use of dental tools, an X-Ray can also be an effective tool in pinpointing areas where the naked eye cannot see. It can also reveal the depth and thus, the severity of the tooth decay.
Treatment may involve:
Dentists will remove decayed substances from your teeth and replace it with gold, silver alloy, porcelain, or composite resin. The latter two materials provide a more natural appearance and are thus favored for front teeth.