WHAT ARE CAVITIES?
A mother of a patient asked the other day –“Is it common for such small children to get cavities?
World Health Organisation has found out:
“Dental caries is a major public health problem globally.
It is also the most prevalent condition included in the 2015 Global Burden of Disease Study, ranking first for decay of permanent teeth (2.3 billion people) and 12th for deciduous teeth (560 million children).”
“Almost half of the world’s population is affected by dental caries, making it the most prevalent of all health conditions.”
“Everyone is at risk of dental caries, but children and adolescents are most at risk.”
So, how prevalent is it in India?
“It has been found out that one out of two children (ie. 50% children) in India is affected by dental caries and that this disease is increasing in milk teeth.”
So, what are cavities?
In the simplest words, holes in the teeth are cavities (in medical terminology, it is called dental caries). Holes are caused by softening or demineralisation of the tooth (ie. The calcium and phosphates in the tooth diminishes)
Tooth decay is of two types:
1. Chalky/white spots – holes are not formed yet. These are not easily seen and you need a trained professional (pediatric dentist) to diagnose it.
2. Holes or cavities are present in the teeth. These are darker in colour and easily observed by parents.
The first variety is still at a stage wherein the tooth decay can be reversed with certain medicines.
In the second, the germs and softened tooth have to be removed from within the tooth. The hole left behind has to be filled or covered with a cap.
The best way to treat a problem, is to never have the problem in the first place. Dentist Auntie is devoted to reducing the incidence of cavities by educating parents and caretakers!
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