All About Tooth Decay
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is the damage that occurs when the acid produced by your mouth eats away at your tooth. Tooth decay can lead to the development of a hole in the tooth, or a cavity. If it is not treated, tooth decay can be painful, lead to infection, and potentially tooth lose.
If you fear you are experiencing tooth decay, or just haven’t gone to the dentist in a while, contact Genuine Family Dentistry at (714) 282-9131.
What signs point to tooth decay?
Tooth decay may not cause any symptoms at first. Regular checkups and cleanings with great dentists, like those at Genuine Family Dentistry, can help detect tooth decay early and prevent it from getting worse. But if tooth decay hasn’t been spotted and treated early on, symptoms can include:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Discoloration of the tooth (such as gray, brown, or black spots)
When should I see a dentist?
You should go to a dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. This is the best way to prevent a problem from forming, and to spot a problem in the earliest stages. Tooth decay can lead to gum disease, cavities, and dental abscesses if left untreated.
When a tooth starts aching, it is a sign that something is wrong. Visit the dentist as soon as you can to diagnose the problem. Ignoring the issue can lead to serious issues, the progression of a problem, or even the loss of a tooth.
If you cannot make it to a dentist twice a year, adults over 18 need to go for a checkup and cleaning, at the very least, once every two years. If you are under 18 or have a higher risk for dental problems it is best to go at least once a year.
For those who have been identified with a high risk of oral health problems or tooth decay, more frequent visits may be deemed necessary to prevent you from experiencing any unnecessary discomfort.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay forms when bacteria in the mouth cling to small food particles and saliva to form plaque. This creates a sticky film on the teeth.
Then, when you consume sugary food and drinks, bacteria in the plaque creates an acid.
This acid and plaque buildup can lead to the breakdown of the outer surface of the tooth. As the tooth decay progresses, it will enter and damage the soft part of the tooth, which is located at the center. .
How do I prevent tooth decay?
That is the question every person should ask themselves! Prevention is the best way to avoid any unhappy dental visits.
Here is how to avoid tooth decay (as it is almost entirely preventable):
- Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Remember to spend at least two minutes brushing each time!
- Floss your teeth at least once a day to make sure that the areas between your teeth and under the gum line are healthy. Healthy gums and teeth are happy gums and teeth!
- Cut down on sugary and starchy food and drinks. Avoiding snacking on sugary foods between meals or within an hour of going to bed is a great way to drastically reduce tooth decay.
Remember, if you haven’t been to the dentist for a while call Genuine Family Dental at (714) 282-9131.