COMMON DENTAL DISEASES – Carries, Causes, Treatment & Periodontal Diseases

Dental Carries

Dental carries are the holes or cavities that are formed as acid corrodes enamel and eventually the dentine


  1. This is caused by bacteria acting on the food left between teeth and on the cusp
  2. Acids are formed that eventually corrode the enamel
  3. The pulp cavity is eventually reached
  4. A lot of pain is experienced then
  5. The bacteria then infect the pulp cavity and the whole tooth decays


  1. Treatment depends on the extent of the dental caries:
  2. Extraction of Tooth
  3. Filling – this involves replacing the dentine with amalgam, a mixture of hard elements e.g silver and tin
  4. Root Canal Treatment – This involves surgery and reconstruction
  5. It saves severely damaged teeth
  6. The nerves in the root canal are surgically severed
  7. The tooth is cleaned and filled up with amalgam


Periodontal Diseases

  1. These are diseases of the gum
  2. The gum becomes inflamed, and starts bleeding
  3. Progression of the disease leads to infection of the fibres in the periodontal membranes and the tooth becomes loose
  4. This condition is known as pyorrhoea
  5. The diseases are caused by poor cleaning of the teeth
  6. The accumulation of food particles leading to formation of plaque, lack of adequate vitamin A and C in the diet


  1. Nutrition – by taking adequate balanced diet rich in vitamins A and C
  2. Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria
  3. Anti-inflamatory drugs are given
  4. Antiseptic is prescribed to use in cleaning the mouth daily to prevent further proliferation of bacteria
  5. The plaque is removed-drilled away – a procedure known as scaling


Care of Teeth

In order to maintain healthy teeth the following points should be observed:

  1. A proper diet that includes calcium and vitamins, particularly vitamin D is essential
  2. The diet should also contain very small quantities of fluorine to strengthen the enamel
  3. Large quantities of fluorine are harmful
  4. The enamel becomes brown, a condition known as dental flourosis
  5. Chewing of hard fibrous foods like carrots and sugar cane to strengthen and cleanse the teeth
  6. Proper use of teeth e.g. not using teeth to open bottles and cut thread
  7. Regular and thorough brushing of teeth after meals
  8. Dental floss can be used to clean between the teeth
  9. Not eating sweets and sugary foods between meals
  10. Regular visits to the dentist for check¬up
  11. Washing the mouth with strong salt solution or with any other mouth wash with antiseptic properties

See also

Classes of food





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