How does tooth decay develop? Read on to find out more, including how to prevent, what to do if you get tooth decay, and how your dentist can help.
How Does Tooth Decay Develop?
A haven for bacteria, your mouth is constantly producing plaque. When you eat, plaque gains energy from your food. When it does, it releases acid onto your teeth, which starts breaking down your tooth enamel. If it’s not taken care of, it will eventually create holes in your teeth, known as cavities. Thus, the real answer to how does tooth decay develop becomes clear. Because plaque wasn’t treated in the beginning. If you combat plaque daily, you’re not giving it the chance to damage your teeth and turn into tooth decay.
If you leave decay untreated in your mouth, it will keep eating away at your teeth until it reaches the dental pulp. This is a fleshy mass containing all the nerves of the tooth. If tooth decay gets this far down, the pulp gets infected, leaving you with a painful abscess.
How Do I Prevent Tooth Decay?
It’s easy! Here are a few fantastic ways to prevent tooth decay:
- Floss and brush twice a day — it’s helpful to floss before you brush because this loosens food particles, and you’re going to want to make sure this is all cleaned out of your mouth.
- Use a good mouthwash — mouthwash gives you added protection against plaque, as well as giving you fresh breath.
- Look after your toothbrush — your toothbrush (or toothbrush head) needs replacing every three months. The best toothbrushes are rechargeable electric brushes with round heads because these get into all the nooks and crannies of your mouth.
- Attend regular dental check-ups — seeing your dentist often is crucial to preventing tooth decay. If there is any tooth decay, your dentist will spot it early, which is much cheaper and easier to treat.
- See a dental hygienist — ask your dentist if they know a good dental hygienist. A hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, making sure there is no tartar or calculus.
How Do I Know if I’ve Got Tooth Decay?
The symptoms of tooth decay can be bad breath, brown teeth, toothache, abscesses, or just spots on your teeth. If you have a cavity, your tooth might feel sticky because your tooth enamel is becoming soft.
The best way to know if you’ve got tooth decay is to see your dentist. They will be able to examine your mouth much better than you can, and they are trained to spot tooth decay, even its earliest stages. They can also identify somewhere you’re missing when you brush, or whether you are brushing correctly or not.
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Your dentist will advise you on what to do next. If it’s mild, you may need a hygiene appointment, or be advised to follow a stricter dental hygiene regime at home. Your dentist might prescribe you special toothpaste and advise on foods to avoid.
If you have a cavity, a dentist will scrape out the decay and fill the hole in your tooth with metal or composite resin.
Severe tooth decay that has led to an abscess will require a root canal and then a filling or crown.
Whatever stage of tooth decay you’ve got, your dentist will be able to treat it, as well as advising on how it happened and what you can do to stop it happening again.
So how does tooth decay develop? It can be a combination of poor dental hygiene, irregular dental visits, or eating too much of the wrong foods. Are you looking for an excellent dentist in Texas? Give Splendid Dental Woodlands a call at 832.365.4190 to learn more today.