Monday, 27 June 2016

Dental Caries

Tooth decay is called dental caries. It a slow process. It starts with loss of minerals from the tooth surface, as the disease continues a hole is formed in the tooth. The entire crown of the tooth may be destroyed as a result of the disease. It is usually associated with pain which is sharp at first but later becomes very severe.
It is caused by bacteria which are found in dental plaque. Dental plaque is the soft, white or yellow layer that sticks to surface of the teeth. Plaque is mainly bacteria not food particles. Some bacteria in some plaque are able to turn the sugar we eat into acid. As the acid is slowly released, it dissolves the tooth. Bacterial can also produce acid from the starch in other food items such as plantain, cassava and yam, but more is produced from sugar. Hence sweet foods are dangerous to the teeth if they are not brushed immediately after eating them.

Factors important in Caries formation

  1.  Structured of the tooth (either strong or weak)
  2. Bacteria in plaque
  3. The type of food that people eat (whether it contain little or plenty of sugar)
  4. The three factors that aid caries formation


  1. Regular removal of plaque
  2. Cleaning of teeth everyday
  3. Eating of adequate diet
  4. Sugary food should be avoided or reduced
  5. Using of fluoride


  1. In the early stage, both tooth minerals could be replaced by applying fluoride on the tooth.
  2. Cleaning and drilling of the affected tooth and then filled with a filling material (Dental magma).
  3. Analgesic is given to relieve pain
  4. Antibiotics is given to limit the spread of the infection
  5. Refer to dental clinic.


  1. Swelling from abscess - Abscess is a collection of pus.
  2. Fever- The patient may have fever if the infection spreads.
  3. Extreme pain
  4. The Crown of the tooth may breakdown partially or completely
  5. Bad odour may be perceived from the tooth.

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