What is Tooth decay?
Everytime you eat, you may not realize it but you’re adding to the possibility of tooth decay. What is it? It’s a common problem when the tooth’s outer layers begin to dissolve from the acids in food. Because people are more aware of the consequences of tooth decay it isn’t as big of a problem as it used to be. Nevertheless, one in three adults will experience it during their lifetime, and one in four children under five will as well.
Whether you are staying in or eating out, every meal gives you an opportunity to make wise choices. Unhealthy choices breed bacteria inside the mouth, which then combine with saliva to form plaque. The bacteria in plaque then turn carbohydrates into energy, which also produce acids.
Regular brushing and flossing will remove most of the plaque, but if it continues to build up it will damage the tooth’s surface. First, plaque softens the enamel by taking away essential minerals. Next, it will create small holes, known as cavities. These cavities can appear on any teeth, especially molars, and before you know it, you’re feeling a toothache and the cavity must be dealt with.
What are the types of Tooth Decay treatments?
How severe the problem is will determine what treatments are available. If the tooth decay is in its earliest stages, a professional-strength fluoride can stop the condition from deteriorating further. However if the decay has worn away the enamel and created a cavity, the dentist will need to remove the soft decay and fill in the tooth. If there is nerve damage, a root canal may be necessary. Root Canal Endodontics removes the damaged nerve and restores the tooth using a filling or a crown. If the tooth cannot be restored, it will need to be removed.
How You Can Avoid Tooth Decay
The best way to avoid tooth decay is in your hands. Maintaining your oral hygiene involves brushing, flossing, and rinsing at least twice daily. Proper brushing removes any plaque from the surface of the tooth. It is recommended to brush for at least three minutes to remove the harmful bacteria, once in the morning and once again before bed. Flossing also helps to maintain clean teeth as it removes plaque and food particles that are impossible to reach with a toothbrush. Similarly, an alcohol-free mouthwash with fluoride will help to loosen and remove debris from food and bacteria. Choose a different time to use mouthwash, like after a lunch or dinner meal, and avoid drinking and eating for a half hour after rinsing.
Be mindful of your diet. Just limiting sugar intake and unhealthy foods can significantly decrease your chances of developing tooth decay. While it’s perfectly fine to have sugary foods and drinks once in a while, avoid having them at every meal. Planning menus and shopping accordingly is helpful in making a conscious effort to eat better. And those organic foods are even better for your teeth and health as they are grown without pesticides.
Keep your scheduled dental appointments. Regular checkups can detect early stages of tooth decay and help your smile stay healthy and bright. Make an Appointment today.