In the U.S., cavities and tooth decay are the second most common health disorder next to the cold. Everyone is susceptible to getting cavities no matter what age you are, but children and young adults are especially prone to tooth decay.
Causes of Tooth Decay
The cause of tooth decay is bacteria and the formation of plaque on the surfaces of teeth. These harmful microbes thrive on the sugar found in food and drinks. Plaque allows for bacteria to collect, which produces acids that remove minerals from your tooth enamel, creating small holes and openings. As the enamel disappears, more microbes get in and begin to wear away the second layer, called dentin. If left untreated, the decay will develop deeper into the tooth structure. If that happens, you may experience symptoms such as pain, sensitivity, and discomfort when biting down.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Many times, you do not recognize the signs of decay when it is just beginning, that is why it is important to see a dentist for regular checkups. A dentist can detect decay early on and take preventative measures to stop its progression. Your habits play an important role in preventing tooth decay, so being very diligent with your oral hygiene routine and watching what you eat are two ways you can do your part.
Twice-daily brushing, along with consistent flossing, prevents the buildup of plaque by depriving bacteria of the food they use to make enamel-destroying acids. The night-time brushing is particularly important because saliva production decreases when you're asleep; going to bed without brushing means your teeth are especially vulnerable. Brushing after every meal is even better, especially if the food you are eating contains a lot of sugar.
Diet is critical to all aspects of health, including oral health. Foods that tend to get stuck in your teeth for long periods of time such as chips or cookies promote tooth decay. Processed sugary foods are not a good option either, so opt for fresh vegetables and fruits instead. These foods actually help increase saliva flow and remineralize tooth enamel.
Contact Us for Your Dental Needs
Fortunately, modern dentistry and better knowledge about caring for your oral health allows patients to keep their teeth strong for much longer. In Marysville, Plain City, Richwood, Bellefontaine, and the surrounding communities within the Columbus Metropolitan area, we help patients keep their natural tooth structure with conservative and advanced dentistry. For more information about how we can treat and correct tooth decay, call Guster, Losey & Mac, DDS Inc. today.