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Tooth decay - Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

Tooth Decay in Urdu

ٹوتھ ڈیکئے دانتوں کے سڑنے کی بیماری ہے۔ اس کو جوف بھی کہا جاتا ہے۔ بچوں میں یہ کیفیر عام ہے جس کی بڑی وجہ دانتوں کی ناقص صفائی اور سوتے ہوئے چوسنی، فیڈر یا سپی کپ کا مستقل استعمال ہے۔ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے دانتوں میں درد، انفیکشن اور صحت کے دیگر مسائل سامنے آ سکتے ہیں۔ دودھ کے دانتوں کی ناقص حالت آئندہ آنے والوں دانتوں کے لیے نقصان دہ ثابت ہو سکتی ہے۔ 

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Summary about Tooth Decay in English

Tooth decay, which manifests in cavities, is a condition in which a hole forms in the tooth. This decay graduates from a small cavity to a much larger if the person does not treat it. One problematic feature in the beginning is its painlessness; due to no pain, the person might think that the problem is even there. That is why doctors always recommend regular checkups with the dentist.

Tooth decay or tooth cavities are reportedly a very commonly occurring health issue related to the mouth across almost all countries. No age is specifically protected from tooth decay, not even infants.

Symptoms of Tooth Decay

In its initial stages, there is a chance that tooth decay does not lead to discomfort or pain. However, once it progresses, the most commonly reported symptoms are:

  • Aching in the tooth, or toothache. This is characterized by an almost excruciating pain pangs that keep the individual awake or happen suddenly
  • Tooth sensitivity. The person could experience increased sensitivity in the  tooth area, especially when he/she exposes their teeth to a hot or cold  stimulus
  • Formation of brownish, greyish or blackish spots
  • Unpleasant smelling breath
  • A bad taste in the mouth

Causes of Tooth Decay

Plaque acids are the cause for dental decay. These acids steadily erode the tooth’s enamel, and then dentine, away. This gradual tooth decay could harm the tooth so much so that a tooth filling or sometimes tooth removal becomes necessary.

Basically, the bacteria nesting on the plaque consume the sugar in the items that the individual regularly eats and so forms acids. This is why when the person consumes sugary items, acid forms and begins to dissolve and erode the upper tooth layers away. This usually happens for about 60 minutes or so, following a meal. After about 60 minutes, the saliva’s natural salts make the enamel hard enough again.

Furthermore, sugar is not the only bad substance. Multiple carbohydrates can react with the plaque bacteria. So, all these carbohydrates are almost as harm-inducing for the teeth as sugar.

Risk Factors of Tooth Decay

While any person could get tooth cavities, experts have observed that there are certain factors by which they can assess how much at risk a person is. Obviously, one important factor is the type of diet that a person consumes on a daily basis. If an individual consumes food that gets easily stuck in the teeth, he/she is more vulnerable to developing tooth cavities. These foods include sugary products like ice cream, cakes, donut and bread. Regularly drinking sugary drinks also puts the person at a higher risk. Then, meal or snacking frequency is also an important factor. Those who eat or drink sugary items more frequently throughout the day open even more chances for the bacteria to attack the teeth.

When mothers put a bottle filled with formula liquid or juice or milk in their baby’s mouth, they are actually allowing bacteria to use this sugary input on the teeth to nest there and cause tooth decay. This kind of tooth decay is known as baby bottle tooth decay.

Other very well-known aspect that can determine whether and how a tooth decays is the brushing habit. If the individual does not brush properly and adequately, they risk getting a tooth cavity. Same is the case with not having a good enough fluoride intake. However, if the person uses the standard toothpastes, those which have fluoride, regularly enough, they can avoid tooth decay through this route.

Lastly, scientists have also found heartburnto also play a contributory role in tooth decay progression. Heartburn is a condition in which the stomach acid rises into the mouth. This acid can then dissolve the teeth enamel as well and open the doors for tooth decay.

Preventive Measures of Tooth Decay

Preventive measures are usually aimed at minimizing the causes and risks. One can lower the risk of tooth decay by properly brushing their teeth at least two times during the day, especially at night. The toothpaste they use should contain fluoride in it. They should pay proper attention to all the teeth’s surfaces which are involved in biting and grinding, and not just the most frontal surface.

Another important preventive measure is flossing after meals in order to prevent or break away plaque formation between the teeth. Flossing is particularly important as it reaches those tooth areas which the toothbrush does not.

Finally, one should try to have a healthy diet that consists of vegetables and fruits and not just sugars. One should also prefer those foods which do not stick to the teeth.

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