Dental Caries / Gigi Berlubang

Dental caries is an infection which is cause by bacterial agent. The bacterial agent produce acid by fermented food debris which accumulated on the tooth surface and may causes demineralization and destruction of the hard tissues in tooth such as enamel, dentin and cementum. The bacteria agent which most responsible for dental cavities are streptococci, most prominently streptococcus mutans and streptococcus sobrinus, and lactobacilli. If dental caries left untreated, may lead to pain, infection and also tooth loss.

Sometimes caries may be directly visible, but sometimes mush use other method such as x rays are used for less visible areas of teeth and to judge the extent of destruction.

For prevention, we must do proper brushing and flossing everday. The purpose is to minimize any etiologic agents in the mouth. The primary focus of brushing and flossing is to remove and prevent the formation of plaque. Plaque consists mostly of bacteria agent which makes the tooth more vulnerable to dental caries when carbohydrates in the food are left on teeth after every meal or snack. A toothbrush can be used to remove plaque on accessible surfaces, but not between teeth or inside pits and fissures on chewing surfaces. When used correctly, dental floss removes plaque from areas that could otherwise develop proximal caries.

Gigi berlubang disebabkan karena infeksi bakteri. Bakteri akan menyebabkan frementasi dari sisa makanan yang menempel pada gigi dan menghasilkan asam. Asam ini akan menyebabkan demineralisasi dan kerusakan dari gigi seperti pada enamel, dentin dan cementum. Bakteri yang paling berperan menyebabkan gigi berlubang yang paling utama adalah streptococci mutans dan streptococci sobrinus dan lactobacilli. Apabila gigi berlubang tidak ditambal maka dapat menyebabkan sakit, infeksi gigi dan pada akhirnya gigi harus dicabut.

Kadang kala gigi berlubang dapat dengan mudah dilihat tetapi kadang harus menggunakan x-ray atau rontgen gigi untuk mengetahui lebih pasti seberapa besar kerusakan gigi yang terjadi.

Untuk mencegah gigi berlubang, kita harus mengosok gigi dan membersihkan sela-sela gigi dengan benang gigi setiap hari, tujuannya adalah agar menghilangkan plak. Plak gigi mengandung banyak bakteri yang dapat mengubah karbohidrat dalam sisa makanan yang tertinggal dalam rongga mulut sehingga gigi berlubang. Menyikat gigi secara teratur akan menghilangkan plak yang ada di permukaan gigi, sedangkan benang gigi akan membersihkan plak dari sela-sela gigi.

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