The dentist plays an important role in the early detection of carious lesions.
Cavities can develop in any area of the tooth surfaces and can be hidden, difficult to detect even by the dentist.
Especially in the interproximal areas of contact between two neighboring teeth, where direct visibility is reduced, signs that would suggest the development of a pathological process would be changes in tooth translucency as well as inflammation and bleeding of the papilla.
If a patient who presents regularly for dental check-ups develops carious lesions frequently, despite satisfactory hygiene, then they should be placed in a risk group. This patient has an increased risk of developing carious lesions and should be carefully monitored in order to apply optimal treatment and reduce further recurrences.
Dental caries is a disease of the teeth that occurs when there is an imbalance in the oral cavity. It is a multifactorial infectious disease in which the saliva can no longer counteract repeated acid attacks.
Action of food on the teeth
The foods that young patients eat can have an adverse influence on oral health:
Carbonated drinks contain sugars in increased amounts, which are a source of food for the bacteria residing in the oral cavity. Also, due to their low pH, carbonated drinks cause demineralization of the enamel.
The acids in natural fruit juices also have a demineralizing effect on hard dental structures. Normally, the pH of the oral cavity is between 6.5 and 7.5. Saliva has this ability to restore the oral environment to its optimal pH by containing factors that act as a buffering system.
Sweet and sticky foods pose the greatest risk of producing carious lesions. They adhere to tooth surfaces by prolonged contact with them.
In assessing patients’ caries risk, it is important to carry out a thorough history to identify their bad habits. With recommendations to correct children’s lifestyles, the incidence of caries can be significantly reduced.
A patient is considered to be at increased caries risk if they are in one of the following situations:
If there is a history of caries in the family, in parents or siblings.
If they do not follow the dietary rules – frequent consumption of sugars especially between main meals, consumption of carbonated drinks, eating at night are factors that increase the incidence of caries.
If they do not follow oral hygiene rules – ineffective tooth brushing that does not remove food residues, the presence of dental plaque of appreciable thickness or gingivitis are signs suggesting that oral hygiene is ineffective either due to lack of information or awareness.
The treatment plan to be applied to small patients at high caries risk must take into account certain particularities such as:
Patients may be orthodontic appliance wearers. In this case, hygiene is even more difficult and is done with interdental brushes and mouth irrigators.
Low saliva secretion deprives the oral environment of factors that maintain oral balance. Bacteria can thus initiate and intensify their attack, with well-known consequences for the maintenance of carious processes.
Tooth decay is a common problem among children, but certain categories of children have a higher risk of developing dental caries.
These children at increased caries risk should receive special attention and be carefully monitored to prevent the development of caries and associated dental problems.
Causes of increased risk of dental caries in children include diet, oral hygiene and genetic predisposition.
A diet high in sugars and refined carbohydrates can create a favorable environment for the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Inadequate oral hygiene can lead to the build-up of bacterial plaque on a child’s teeth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay. Genetic predisposition may also play a role in the development of dental caries in some children.
To prevent the development of dental caries in children at high caries risk, it is important to take appropriate preventive measures. These measures include:
A healthy, balanced diet – Avoid foods high in sugars and refined carbohydrates. Encourage the consumption of nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which can help maintain dental health.
Proper oral hygiene – Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and flosses daily. Encourage your child to go for regular check-ups at the dentist to keep their oral hygiene in good condition.
Preventive treatment – For children at high caries risk, there are some preventive treatments available, such as applying dental varnishes that can protect teeth from developing tooth decay.
Regular monitoring – It’s important to monitor your child’s dental health and go for regular check-ups at the dentist to make sure any problems are treated in the early stages.
In general, children at high caries risk need special attention to prevent the development of tooth decay. By taking appropriate preventive measures and closely monitoring their dental health, these children can have good oral health and avoid long-term dental problems.