What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth Decay is also known as dental caries or dental decay, and literally happens when the acid inside your mouth begins to dissolve your mouth’s outer layers. It is one of the most widespread health problems in the world and a problem for both adults and children. Although it is widespread, tooth decay is easily preventable and the prevention will take just a few minutes each day.
Tooth Decay Causes
The main tooth decay causes centre around plaque. Plaque is formed by the bacteria in your mouth combining with saliva and particles of food. If not cleaned, it can then build up on your teeth and begin to produce acid. Over time the acid in the plaque will start to disintegrate the enamel on the tooth and then cause cavities. Once a cavity has formed, it is very easy for the plaque to enter the root of the tooth and hence cause tooth decay. This can also cause dental abscesses which are extremely painful.
If you are experiencing tooth decay, you will notice a number of tooth decay symptoms. These do not usually appear until the tooth decay is in an advanced stage so if you do experience any of the following, it is important to immediately schedule an appointment with your dentist.
• A consistently unpleasant taste in your mouth
• Bad breath
• Discoloured spots on your teeth
Tooth Decay Treatment
The tooth decay treatment that you receive will depend on the stage of your tooth decay. If it is in the early stages your dentist will more than likely apply a fluoride varnish to your teeth which can prevent the problem from getting worse. If however your tooth decay is quite advanced and caused cavities your dentist will remove the decay and then fill your tooth. If your decay is in the most advanced stage, your dentist will have to perform the final tooth decay treatment which involves removing both the decay and your tooth.
How to Stop Tooth Decay
The good news is that tooth decay prevention is very easy and if you do it properly you will never have to go through any of the tooth decay treatments described above. Firstly you should make sure to brush your teeth properly at least twice a day, and floss at least once per day to remove any plaque that has built up on your teeth. It is advisable to replace your toothbrush regularly – at least once every two to three months.
Aside from your brushing and flossing regime, you should also watch your diet. Cutting out foods and drinks that are high in sugar is a great first step in tooth decay prevention. Fizzy drinks are one of the worst culprits for tooth decay and should be avoided altogether.