Learn the Meanings of Common Dental Terminology

Archive for tooth decay

Fluoride

Compounds containing fluoride are used for the prevention of tooth decay. Most commonly found in toothpaste and mouthwash, it is also added to the public drinking water in the US.

Fluoridation develops low concentrations of fluoride ions in saliva and helps the formation of fluorapatite that remineralizes teeth enamel. Adding calcium to fluoride treatments helps reduce cavities even more,

Caries

Also known as tooth decay or simply cavities which are caused by bacterial infection that cause decriminalization of the tooth. A hole is formed which penetrates the tooth through the enamel, dentin and cementum. Caries that are left untreated can cause pain and even the eventual loss of a tooth. If you can see caries or small chalky areas known as a surface caries the damage is progressed. In order to save the integrity of the tooth dentist try to spot small cavities with the use of radiography (X-rays). Dentists use a tool called a dental explorer, a sort of hooked pointy mental instrument, to diagnose caries during the examination process. That is what they are doing when they are poking about in our mouth.