Even though teeth have some protection on them in the form of enamel, it can slowly erode and tooth decaywill ultimately produce cavities. This is a natural process but some steps can be taken to help reduce the risk of cavities.
The decay of the enamel is caused by bacteria that are naturally found in your mouth. They feed on sugar and carbs and when they do, acid is the byproduct. It is the acid on your teeth that causes the decay of your teeth, which eventually will become cavities.
Leaving the bacteria on your teeth for prolonged periods will lead to getting cavities sooner. Acid from certain foods and drinks will also help to breakdown the enamel even faster if you consume a lot of them.
There really is no way to stop the decay of your teeth altogether. Once a cavity has started it will continue to go deeper into your tooth. Eventually, it will also get into the second layer of your tooth called dentin, and then it will start to be sensitive and painful.
To remove the decay, you will need the help of a dentist. The dentist will drill out the decayed portion of the tooth and put in a filling. There are many types of fillings today, and one of the most popular options is to use tooth-colored filling material.
In cases of more extreme decay, if you want to save the tooth, the dentist may need to place a dental crown on it. A root canal may also be needed if the infection goes deep into the tooth.
The bacteria in your mouth are the primary cause of tooth decay, but it is certainly not the only cause. Keeping the bacteria off of your teeth will help to reduce your risk of cavities but it will not completely eliminate it. You can reduce your risk further by:
- Practicing good oral care– Keeping the bacteria and acid off of your teeth will help immensely. To do this, you need to brush your teeth carefully (two minutes each time) twice a day and floss.
- Reduce acidic foods and drinks– Many foods and drinks have their own acid. This especially includes soda, tea, alcoholic beverages, and coffee. Fruit juices and citrus fruit contain acid, too. Remove the risk after drinking or eating these by rinsing your mouth out with water afterward.
- Reducing sugar intake– Cutting down on the amount of sugar you consume each day will also help prevent cavities. This includes sodas, specialty coffees, fruit juices, sports drinks, and more.
- Staying hydrated– Drinking enough water each day will help reduce cavities if you have dry mouth. Saliva helps to wash away the bacteria and acid. A lack of it enables the bacteria and acid to multiply more than would happen otherwise.
When to See the Dentist
The best way to control cavities is to make regular visits to the dentist. The dentist can spot them and treat them while still small. Remember that the larger problems get the more it will cost to treat it.
You can get treatment for tooth decay at Bright White Dental. The friendly dentists provide dental care for the whole family as well as preventive care. Call today for an appointment and get started toward better dental health.