GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT :: Common Dental Problems and Concerns
Tooth Decay (Caries or Cavities)
What is tooth decay (caries or cavities)?
Tooth decay is the disease known as caries or cavities - a highly preventable disease caused by many factors.
Who is at risk for tooth decay?
We all host bacteria in our mouths which makes everyone a potential target for cavities. Risk factors that put a person at a higher risk for tooth decay include:
What are the symptoms of tooth decay and dental caries?
The following are the most common symptoms of tooth decay and dental caries. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include white spots on the teeth that appear first. Then, an early cavity appears that has a light brown color on the tooth. The tooth color progressively becomes darker.
How are dental caries diagnosed?
Dental caries are usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your child. This may be performed by your child's physician or your child's dentist.
Preventing tooth decay:
Preventing tooth decay and cavities involves five simple steps:
Treatment for tooth decay:
Specific treatment for tooth decay will be determined by your child's physician or dentist based on:
Treatment, in most cases, requires removing the caries and replacing the lost substance of the tooth with a filling.
What are fillings?
Teeth that have been affected by tooth decay (caries or cavities) require a filling. There are many different types of fillings, including:
Other alternatives to restoring damaged or decayed teeth:
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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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