Cavities are a major problem in dental health that affect between 60-90% of school age children and the vast majority of adults.
A cavity is actually a tooth infection characterized by the appearance of a cavity at the enamel surface. The more the cavity progresses, the deeper the cavity makes it way inside the tooth until it reaches the nerve. The first signs that are indicative of a possible cavity are pains in reaction to sugar, cold or hot.
There are two types of abscesses: Dental abscesses due to a tooth infection and periodontal abscesses due to gum infections.
These abscesses occur at the root of a tooth where the nerve is dead due to a big cavity or trauma (shock to the tooth). These dental abscesses can also occur as a result of cracks. If this is the case, the nerve of the tooth can still be alive. In general, the tooth will be sensitive to pressure and swelling might be noticeable.
These acute infections of the gum manifest by swelling with pus elimination at pressure. As a consequence, the tooth can wobble as well as move.
In order to treat a cavity, the tooth will be put to sleep (unless the cavity is very superficial), and the decayed part will be removed. After, the cavity created by the removal will be disinfected and reconstituted without microbes. If the cavity reaches the nerve, the tooth must be devitalized before being restored.
Antibiotics may be prescribed in case of emergency. The tooth will afterwards have to be devitalized to prevent the abscess from recurring. In most cases of a fractured tooth, the tooth will be extracted.
Antibiotics may be prescribed in case of emergency. The abscess will also need to be pierced to extract the pus it contains. Once the abscess eliminated, periodontal treatment will be started in order to prevent recurrence.
Teeth grinding during sleep affects about 10% to 15% of the population and can have several negative effects, such as the premature wearing of teeth. Another consequence of teeth grinding, or bruxism, is jaw muscle fatigue noticed at awakening. This can be accompanied by pain in the ears.
Bruxism can also lead to the migration of teeth if the gums are in bad shape (periodontal disease), and can affect the jaw joints.
Most often, bruxism will be treated or minimized with the help of an oral plate (or mouth guard), worn at night. This soft plate allows teeth to rub against the plate rather than against the surrounding teeth. The plate can be replaced over time if bruxism continues.