• Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) Symptoms, Diagnosis and Homeopathic Treatment

    dental caries

    Condition is characterized by decay, decalcification and disintegration of teeth.
    Dental caries (tooth decay) is a major oral health in most industrialized countries, affecting 60–90% of school children and many adults.
    The early expression of the caries (tooth decay) process is a small spot of demineralized enameled at the tooth surface area, often invisible from vision in the fissures of tooth or in between the tooth. The damage propagates into the smoother, delicate part of the tooth within the enameled. The damaged enameled then breaks to form a hole and the tooth is gradually damaged. Caries can also strike the origins of tooth should they become revealed by gum economic downturn. This is more common in older persons.

    SEQUENCE OF EVENTS of DENTAL CARIES (TOOTH DECAY)
    – Bacteria in mouth cause fermentation.
    – Formation of acids from carbohydrates in crevices around teeth.
    – Acids decalcify inorganic enamel.
    – Proteolytic organisms destroy organic matrix left after decalcification.
    – Cavity formed extends into pulp.
    – Secondarily infection and decay.
    – Suppuration, with abscess formation.

    ETIOLOGY OF DENTAL CARIES (TOOTH DECAY)
    Predisposing causes
    – Food stagnation:
    • Ingestion of fermentable carbohydrates, e.g.
    bread, honey, sweets, especially last thing at night.
    – Lack of roughage.
    – Bottle feeding.
    – Abnormal development of teeth and Jaw.
    – Deficient calcification.
    – Diminished saliva
    Debilitating illness.
    Lack of movement of tongue and teeth.
    Child given soft foods.
    Age : 4-8 years and 12-18 years.

    CLINICAL FEATURES OF DENTAL CARIES (TOOTH DECAY)
    Sites of predilection
    Wherever food can stagnate
    – 95% in fissures, especially posterior teeth.
    – 5% around necks of teeth.

    Symptoms
    – Toothache.
    – Foul odour from mouth.
    Signs
    – Plaque
    • Consist of food debris, bacteria, epithelial cells, mucin.
    • Tough, difficult to remove.
    • After removing, again forms quickly.
    – Yellowish brown discolouration of teeth.
    – Pieces of enamel break away during chewing.
    – Cavities in teeth
    • Dark brown surface.
    • Contain epithelial debris, bacteria.
    • Progressive increase in size.

    Diagnosis of Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) 
    diagnosis dental cariesThis preoperative photo of tooth #3, (A), reveals no clinically apparent decay other than a small spot within the central fossa. In fact, decay could not be detected with an explorer. Radiographic evaluation, (B), however, reveals an extensive region of demineralization within the dentin (arrows) of the mesial half of the tooth. When a burr was used to remove the occlusal enamel overlying the decay, (C), a large hollow was found within the crown and it was discovered that a hole in the side of the tooth large enough to allow the tip of the explorer to pass was contiguous with this hollow. After all of the decay had been removed, (D), the pulp chamber exposed and most of the mesial half of the crown was either missing or poorly supported.
    Primary diagnosis involves inspection of all visible tooth surfaces using a good light source, dental mirror and explorer. Dental radiographs produced when X-rays are passed through the jaw and picked up on film or digital sensor, may show dental caries before it is otherwise visible, particularly in the case of caries on interproximal (between the teeth) surfaces. Large dental caries are often apparent to the naked eye, but smaller lesions can be difficult to identify. Unextensive dental caries were formerly found by searching for soft areas of tooth structure with a dental explorer. Visual and tactile inspection along with radiographs are still employed frequently among dentists, particularly for pit and fissure caries.

    PROGNOSIS OF DENTAL CARIES (TOOTH DECAY)
    – Once caries reach dentine, condition becomes irreversible.
    – Prognosis guarded.

    PREDOMINANT MIASM
    – Mixed miasmatic disorder.

    THERAPEUTIC AIM
    – To treat symptomatically.
    – To prevent spread.

    GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF DENTAL CARIES (TOOTH DECAY)

    • Ensure adequate calcification
    • Calcification of deciduous teeth commences during last 3 months of pregnancy and continues until short time after birth.
    • Ensure mother has adequate calcium and vitamin D.
    • Calcification of permanent teeth occurs from 6 months to 12 years.
    • Adequate quantities of milk and vitamin D should be given.
    • Fluoride promotes calcification and protects teeth.
    • Diet
    • Removal of food debris by hard food which requires thorough chewing and promotes adequate flow of saliva, e.g. apple, carrot.
    • Restriction of sticky carbohydrates, cakes, sweets, especially last thing at night.
    • Restrict snacks and food between meals.
    • Oral hygiene
    • Before age of 2 years teeth cleaning best accomplished by biting on hard coarse food, e.g. raw apple, carrot.
    • Brushing teeth from about 2 years.
    • Brushing must be performed toward distal end of tooth, not across.
    • Regular 6-monthly dental inspection from 3 years of age.
    • Discourage thumb sucking and use of dummies.

    HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF DENTAL CARIES (TOOTH DECAY)

    Intercurrent
    – Syphilinum.
    – Thuja Oc.
    To promote calcification
    – Calcarea Carbonica.
    – Calcarea Fluorica.
    – Calcarea Phosphorica.
    Symptomatic
    – Fluoricum Acidum.
    – Kreosotum.
    – Mezereum.
    – Plantago.
    Abscess
    – Calcarea Suiphuricum.
    – Hepar Sulphurica.
    – Mercurius Solubilis.
    – Silicea.

    Categories: Children’s Health, Ear, Nose & Throat

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