A new X-ray image analysis technique helps dentists identify the early signs of tooth decay, according to a study discussed in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology.
Researchers at RMK Engineering College in India say that the technique differentiates between normal teeth and those with decay by displaying varying pixel intensities.
The pixels concentrate in particular ranges, depending on how much decay is present, which helps dental professionals pinpoint cavities.
R. Siva Kumar, who participated in the study, explained that dental caries that form in the pits and fissures of teeth are particularly difficult to detect, according to EurekaAlert.
Caries - also known as cavities - are a result of bacteria that feeds on carbohydrates and starches such as sucrose, sugars and glucose. The acidity that is produced by this activity dissolves a tooth's mineral content.
In addition to brushing and flossing to prevent cavities, the American Dental Association recommends that people may consider the use of dental sealants, which protect the teeth's surfaces where decay may begin.
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