Cervical Caries: Diagnosis and Treatment Features
Cervical caries is a lesion of the enamel, and then of the dentin tissue, which develops in the root part, at the edge of the gums.
In dentistry, carious lesions are considered the most common problem. There are several types, but cervical caries is considered the most dangerous. A tooth lesion located on the cervix not only spoils the smile but also poses a threat of rapid tooth loss if it’s started. The disease can be diagnosed after a visual examination of the oral cavity, and its signs depend on the stage of the disease:
- The appearance of a white spot on the enamel;
- Superficial lesion - the structure of hard tissues changes, sensitivity or pain may appear;
- Destruction of not only enamel but also dentin;
- Significant lesions of the deep layers of dentin. Without treatment, passes into pulpitis.
Why this type of caries is dangerous
Due to the small thickness of the enamel, its affected area darkens and collapses faster. Without timely treatment, the tooth decays at the base, even with a slight load, and such a dental fracture can go beyond the edge of the gum. As a result, this place becomes a source of infection and can provoke caries on other teeth, the emergence of bacteria, as well as the appearance of problems with the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory and immune systems.
Using modern methods of cervical caries diagnosis helps to quickly establish the correct diagnosis.
To do this, during a dental examination, x-rays or digital radiovisiograph can be used. The patient finds out about the disease too late, since at first the tooth is not affected by temperature or contact with a toothbrush or food. Cervical tooth decay develops very quickly and treatment should be initiated immediately. Unpleasant sensations appear already in the later stages. Therefore, the patient should carefully monitor even minor changes that indicate the presence of caries.
The first symptom that occurs is the formation of a small spot of different colors on the enamel: from unnaturally white to dark yellow. Later, the tooth begins to ache during sleep and when falling asleep. There is a reaction to external irritants: cold air, hot/cold drinks, spicy and sweet food, etc. Also, a headache can be one of the cervical caries symptoms.
This disease can be easily confused with common caries since the causes are very similar.
It’s a consequence of the vital activity of pathogenic bacteria that remain on the teeth in the absence of proper hygiene. The root zone is vulnerable, as the enamel layer in this area is much thinner than on upper layers. And it’s difficult to thoroughly clean the plaque on the cervix due to the proximity of the gums, which, with too much diligence, can be injured. The most common cervical caries causes are:
- permanent accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gums;
- lack of proper hygiene;
- various gum diseases;
- period of pregnancy;
- disruption of the endocrine system or hormonal secretion;
- exposure of medications that destroy enamel, leading to tooth decay;
- demineralization of enamel with frequent consumption of carbohydrates, including sweets.
Lactic acid, which appears during the life of pathogenic bacteria, destroys the thin enamel of the tooth in the area of its contact with the gums and becomes the main cause of caries. Brushing your teeth with abrasive toothpaste can also cause cervical decay.
Before choosing methods of dealing with this disease, it’s necessary to consult a dentist.
Cervical Caries Treatment
The method of cervical caries treatment depends on the degree of caries and individual characteristics. In the case of the initial form - when a stain appears on the tooth – it’s advisable to apply a conservative method of treatment using fluoridation and remineralization. In this case, the surface of the tooth must be cleaned of plaque during professional teeth cleaning. In the middle and deep stages, the dentist performs a filling. Difficulty in the treatment process may arise when the lesion is located very close to the gum or under the gum. Then moisture or blood from the damaged part of the gum can get into the filling area itself.
However, with a relatively simple treatment, one should not forget about preventive measures that will help to avoid this pathology:
- Daily correct and thorough cleaning of the dental cavity. Applying a well-chosen toothpaste and brush, mouthwash, and, if necessary, dental floss to remove food debris in hard-to-reach places;
- Limit the use of foods containing a large number of carbohydrates and sugar; Required preventive visits to the dentist 1-2 times a year.
By adhering to these simple rules, you can keep your smile healthy and bright for years to come.