Authored By:Muzna Mian
Your teeth are an important part of your body and to keep your health intact you must take good care of your oral hygiene. Now overtime some diseases and bacteria can start to attack the teeth. It is important to be mindful and understand how you can get the diagnosis and the various treatments that are available for such problems.
A common issue is caries, a disease that occurs when the tooth begins to decay and overtime this causes bacteria to spread which results in cavities. It also causes the pH level to decrease and that results in the loss of minerals in your teeth. Now the question continues to remain whether there is an actual cure for caries or what can be done?
The short answer is there is no cure since caries is a form of tooth decay however there are various treatments available at clinics. In this blog the various existing tools will be discussed in addition to any new treatments that are available to patients.
A very easy and common technique is the caries detector. The detector is in the form of a stain bottle and you must pour it into a spoon and then apply it to one’s teeth. Once you add the stain be sure to rinse it out after 10 seconds. Now you will know if caries are detected on the red parts that have been stained. This technique is also used for finding tooth decay and helps dentists track cavities.
Another common form of diagnosis that has been popularized is called radio-graphs. The tool of radio graphs is a form of X-rays which uses the beam of gamma rays to detect places in the body. With the radio-graphs the dentists use a process called a bite wing technique used in X-rays. The bite wing technique is used when the technology detects the lesions which are white spots that are causing the decay on teeth further leading to caries.
This technology works well as it shows detailed surfaces and detection through x-ray technology that cannot be seen using your eyes. There are different types of radiography which include the intraoral radiography, extraoral radiography and the bite-wing radiography process. Intraoral radiography takes a deep look at the structure of teeth. It focuses on looking for any issues in the root and bone structure.
The technology has helped many dentists detect early signs of caries disease when it is uncovered on a radio-graph screen. It is a common X-ray that dentists use to take radio-graph images for portions of the teeth. Which helps patients to solve this issue of tooth decay before it spreads faster and causes the patient to remove some teeth. The bite-wing technique takes a deeper dive into the caries disease.
The X-ray technology helps to track caries if it reoccurs and usually this is under the fillings that have been treated on the damaged teeth. In most cases extraoral radiography is not used for the early detection of caries, it is more used to look at bigger parts of the jaw and skull. However, during the pandemic some dentists used the x-ray technology as a guide, due to the “aerosols that occurred during the intraoral treatments”9.
Another form of technology is the ultrasound in caries detection. ‘This practice became prominent when it was first uncovered about 30 years ago. So it begins when the images of the tissue are generated by sound waves that can be reflected’ 8. The ultrasound technology can detect teeth surfaces that have cavities on them versus non cavitated areas.
‘This technology was found to be more effective as it reduced the amount of radiation ionization that occurs in the patient’s mouth to detect caries’ 8. It was also found this method was able to detect caries faster and more efficiently compared to radiography. Furthermore, using an ultrasound helps dentist discover how thick their patients enamel is.
However, as discussed above in the radiography paragraphs it was found the caries can reform under fillings and this procedure is starting to be a temporary fix and the filling does not provide a perfect solution. ‘So for this process to work the scientist Dr Paul Sharpe and his team at King College London explain how they would need to use embryos as they have the cells that can be planted to allow regrowth of missing teeth’ 6. As of 2018 they were working on this stem cell regrowth using mice and they had planned to begin using humans as test subjects for this process the following year.
A new innovation that scientists have been working on is the idea of stem cells that will allow for the teeth to be repaired manually on their one. It is being tested out and scientists believe it will be in the form of a small drug medication 6. If it works well it will be the easiest treatment to fix tooth decay. According to studies the treatment that is being used currently for tooth decay is not as effective. Dentists tend to remove the decayed tooth entirely and fill it with a material that acts as a filling called amalgam 6.
Another new innovation that is being considered as a treatment for caries is using a laser treatment. The use of lasers in dentistry allows for cavities to be filled. Dentists use a tool that looks like a wand-like pen. They position it on the rotting of the teeth once the filling is in place the tooth should be repaired 5.
There is no need for using needles or painful equipment. The laser idea is also being explained by Dr.Praveen Arany at the University at Buffalo, NY 6. The team is working on using lasers to allow for the pulp of the teeth to reform itself and create stem cells that will regrow the decayed tooth 6.
Caries disease has become common among many youth and adults. It starts at a young age so it is important for individuals to pay attention and get their diagnosis as soon as possible. There are already many existing treatments used by clinics. However, new innovations are being uncovered and these treatments are being shown to be more effective and long lasting compared to the current treatment options.
Now one way to reduce tooth decay or diseases is brushing your teeth properly. The company Ora-3D has come out with a new brush that allows for proper cleaning and reaches all parts of the tooth’s surface. If you want to know more about the company and their mission be sure to read about them at https://www.ora-3d.com/.
Authored By: Muzna Mian
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