Dental Calculus Creates Gap In-between teeth in a Lady with Arrested Caries

At the onset, i would like to clarify that there is no relationship between dental calculus creating gaps in teeth and finding of  arrested caries in the same patient. I have just added both these conditions just to highlight both of these.

Dental Calculus and teeth displaced by it

In the first picture, you see how the massive dental calculus deposit have moved her lower front teeth and created a gap. When asked, she told me that there was minimal gap in-between these two front teeth which has widened considerably over a time period of 5-6years. The reason of this spacing is clear from the massive dental tartar deposit which seems to have mechanically pushed both the teeth apart -away from each other.

Anyhow, calculus will be easily removed using ultrasonic scaler or even with hand instruments (scaler) –but the drifted teeth won’t rebound to their original position. Of course, scaling will at least prevent further displacement of these teeth.

Arrested caries in lower molar

Now, coming to the second issue — this lady who is in her thirties says she had got a carious tooth — you can see in this photograph that a brown spot. She says when she got caries 20years ago, her uncle gave her some tablet to rub on that carious tooth and the caries “worm” (people think caries is due to a worm –but it is just a misconception!) disappeared for ever.

What says think about her dear uncle’s magic cure is absolutely misleading — God bless her uncle!……….However, the fact is that it is a case of Arrested Caries — you see caries started in this tooth but somehow it gets arrested and stays arrested for the last more than two decades. This is called Arrested Caries.

Wondering how come it is possible- caries starts and then gets arrested ? — of course, it is possible and we do happen to see some patients, albeit somewhat not so commonly and no magic is involved in such cases. It is just host’s resistance which comes to the rescue of such patients — it means resistance of this lady is so good –her oral micro flora (normal organisms in mouth), her salivary composition, amount of salivary secretions and factors like that are so favorable that the dental caries once started was just not permitted to progress – it is just lying as a shiny, brown facet.

I preferred not to interfere with that arrested lesion which is lying inactive for the last 25years or so. Of course, i have motivated her to ensure regular periodic dental check-ups so that any dental ailments can be nipped in the bud. One thing more, you see i have told you that her resistance so far as dental caries is concerned is quite good –all of her 31 teeth being caries-free lends credence to my observation. This brown stain type of stuff that you are looking at in the second photograph is just dental calculus which will be taken care of and then demonstration of proper oral hygiene would serve her purpose.

I never told her that she should not be proud of her uncle’s medicinal skills! –may be during her follow-up visits i would do that.

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About drparveenchopra

Dr Parveen Chopra is Masters in Dental Surgery.. with 35 years of experience in dentistry. For trying his hand in health writing, he studied Communication for seven years. He is a blogger since 2007- he enjoys writing in conversational style.
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