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Dental caries: symptoms, stages of the disease and photos

tooth decay photos of all stages

Caries – a pathological oral disease due to lesions of the tooth enamel by acids, alkalis and other harmful compounds formed as the result of the reaction of existing microorganisms in the mouth with carbohydrates. As a result, the enamel is gradually destroyed, and the teeth are spoiled spoil.

Characteristics And Features

For the first time, this phenomenon was revealed by W. Miller, in the late XIX century. Today, it has been given a clearer definition in which the disease is associated primarily with the defeat of hard tissues of teeth, with a subsequent decrease in its essential minerals and the formation of a vacuum.

Teeth are initially covered with a colorless tint and then with a dark plaque, they get thinner, their appear small holes which without proper treatment can lead to their final damage and even loss.

Tooth decay is one of the oldest diseases; people suffered from it around 3-4 thousand years BC.

The reasons are very difficult to identify because the disease can be hereditary in some way, and may be gained, due to poor nutrition and oral care.

The symptoms are as following:

  • the appearance of plaque after meals;
  • the occurrence of white and then dark spots on the white enamel;
  • the thinning, appearance of chips and scratches, feeling of the roughness of an enamel;
  • the occurrence of small holes;
  • in contact with hot or cold foods sharp and unpleasant sensations may appear, even painful, they can also occur after eating a sweet or sour. The reason is in the fact that the enamel consists of 96% of mineral, and by reacting with acids, it collapses, leading to a painful response.

    It should be noted that pain is manifested only on the later stages of the disease, which will be described below.

Tooth decay can develop for 4 years because its appearance is not noticeable even an experienced dentist, which is extremely dangerous, as it can develop not only in adults but also in infants, whose teeth have just erupted. For this reason, it is important to know not only the causes and symptoms of the disease but also its stages.

Stages Of tooth decay

Stages Of Disease

Experienced dentists detect and treat the disease according to the stage at which it is, stressing out the 4 major stages of development of the disease:

  • the stage of usually white or chalky spots;
  • caries of the surface;
  • average caries;
  • deep caries.

Having examined each stage separately, you can see that it develops gradually, affecting at first, the surface of the tooth, and then penetrating into its roots. Each of these stages corresponds to its own symptoms and clinical manifestations.

Stage 1: Spots

The emergence of chalky or dark spots on the enamel surface is the first sign of incipient disease. The cause of the spots is the gradual leaching of minerals from the surface of the tooth, which are needed to strengthen them. In particular, the enamel loses necessary calcium and therefore its structure is gradually degraded.

At this stage, the disease does not manifest itself that’s why the patient may not know about it, as to notice the spots on your own is almost impossible.

No pain is observed on this stage, and therefore for its detection dentist often uses methylene compound, coloring the affected area in blue.

This degree is completely reversible because when timely enrich the tooth with minerals the enamel rebuilds and stains disappear. In addition, you can remove the stains with the help of laser treatment in the dental office, then the main step is to go through the suggested by the doctor treatment.

There should be delaying with medical intervention at the first stage of the disease because even inconspicuous spots can turn into a real problem and cause a tooth loss.

Stage 2: Surface

Left without proper attention and treatment, caries in the stage of a spot gradually turns into the tooth surface disease characterized by irreversible changes in the structure of the enamel, the structure of its prism.

At this stage, the enamel cannot recover on its own, and therefore the patient should immediately consult a competent dentist. Superficial caries affects only the tooth surface, without penetrating deep into the tissue.

It can concentrate on the uneven surface of the teeth or between them, typically from the inside of the oral cavity, and therefore can stay inconspicuous.

Externally to identify the transition of the symptoms to the surface stage is possible by the appearance of small black and brown spots, enamel defects and an increase in yellow or white plaque.

It is possible that a patient on this early stage has acute pain when eating sour, sweet, hot, or cold foods, but only if the caries is situated at the neck part of the tooth, which happens most of the times. To identify the disease at the surface stage is also possible during sounding or during regular check-ups at the dentist.

Unfortunately, to determine the transition of the disease from one stage to another is practically impossible, that is why the best is to prevent the spread of the disease and begin the treatment immediately.

Stage 3: Average (dentine)

In the middle stage of caries, the disease is clearly visible, so that to ignore it not only makes no sense but also is very dangerous because the pain will only increase with every following day and it won’t bring any good results. At this stage, dark spots on the surface increase markedly and they simply cannot stay unnoticed.

But there are cases when stains are small, and there is only a small crack, which the dentist finds during close examination and then diagnoses a penultimate stage of tooth decay, which is connected with the fact that the surface is firm enough and to hit it with the illness is more difficult than to penetrate into the soft tissue called dentin.

The tooth decay is located at this stage between teeth or between them and the tissue surface. Treatment is prescribed depending on the stage and mainly is limited to the cleansing of the affected tooth surface and the plaque by medical intervention, mostly in the form of lotions and rinses for the oral cavity.

The final stage of the treatment is the installation of a seal and its regular cleaning from plaque.

Stage 4: Deep

very deep cariesThe main feature of the latest, deep stage is the pain in the tooth nerve. It is at this stage still not inflamed, but it becomes very sensitive to hot or cold food.

Externally deep caries is not different from the symptoms of the disease in the previous stage, but the area of destruction of enamel and dentin with black spots may expand.

It is important to remember, that deep stage is not characterized by pain, especially at night, pain when chewing, or by direct contact with the tooth, as all of the above are the signs of pulpitis or acute periodontitis, periodontal disease.

Treatment of caries on its deep stage is the same as that on the average, that is, the doctor must first conduct a cosmetic procedure to clean enamel from the plaque and tartar, and then put the seal, clearing the existing crack.

The above division into stages is used exclusively on the territory of Russia, in Europe and America, generally accepted is another classification of the disease:

  • Enamel caries – identical with the first stage, which is the appearance of white spots on the surface;
  • Caries of the soft tissues of the tooth – dentin;
  • Caries of cement;
  • Slowing caries.

Stage 5: Cement

Since two of given stages have already been described, wet should focus on cement tooth decay, which is characteristic mainly among the elderly people aged 60 years and above. Dentin or cement in the cervical area of the tooth are defeated.

The reason for the transition to this stage of the disease lies in the exposal of the roots, as well as in the excessively frequent use of carbohydrates that have a direct impact on the development of caries.

In addition, older people cease to brush their teeth, they do not comply with the basic requirements of oral hygiene and as a result, tooth decay occur, that does not only affect the teeth but leads to their loss because the body is not strong enough and does not have opportunities for enamel restoration.

Also, a decrease in saliva secretion affects the development of the disease, which has a protective effect and contributes to the restoration of teeth.

caries in teeth

Stage 6: Slowing down

Slowed down, or delayed is considered to be a tooth decay that the dentist has prevented or healed promptly using all available means of treatment. To slow down the course of the disease is only possible on the first two stages because the more often the patient visits the dentist, the healthier and more beautiful will look the teeth.

In true and timely diagnose, the patient can avoid many negative consequences for the health of the teeth, which will keep them safe until senior years.

So, tooth decay – is extremely dangerous and the most common dental and enamel disease. The statistics show that more than 98% of the inhabitants of the planet Earth suffer from it and its consequences, and its percentage increases with every year, so there is no way to avoid the disease, you need to try to avoid its consequences.

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