Tooth decay and also known as the cavity is a common dental problem experienced by people of all ages. Tooth decay is the damaged surface of your tooth, and it occurs when bacteria in the mouth make acids that attack the enamel. Here is everything you need to know about cavities.
Symptoms for Tooth Decay
Sometimes the symptoms of tooth decay are mild, but sometimes it can get more intense that it can affect your daily life as well. At first, you may not have any symptoms. However, they can worsen in time, and you may start to feel these symptoms. These symptoms include tooth sensitivity, toothache, and black or brown staining on the surface of your tooth. The tooth may become more sensitive when eating or drinking.
Primarily you may feel tooth sensitivity to certain foods like sugary and cold or hot foods. Besides, you may feel a toothache after biting. You might still have cavities even if you don’t have tooth sensitivity or toothache. Unlike posterior teeth, looking in the mirror makes it possible to notice the black or brown stains on the front teeth. If you have such symptoms, you should see a dentist.
Causes of Cavities
Many people can have cavities but don’t worry. Cavities are a preventable problem, and you can avoid it by knowing which conditions can cause it. Lack of oral hygiene is one of the causes of cavities. If you don’t brush your teeth properly, especially after eating or drinking, this can increase the risk of tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth can convert carbohydrates into acids, and the increase in the acids damages the tooth and leads to tooth decay. Thus, brushing and flossing your tooth will help you to avoid it.
Similarly, the foods you consume can also cause tooth decay. Not eating healthy and frequently consuming sugary, acidic, and high-carbohydrate foods can cause tooth decay. Untreated cavities can lead to tooth decay as well. Keep in mind that if you have tooth decay and do not see a dentist, you will cause the infection in your decayed tooth to spread to other teeth.
Who Can Get Cavities?
Tooth decay is one of the most common health issues; unfortunately, it can affect people of all ages. On the other hand, people who ignore their oral health and what they consume are always at greater risk. Those who ignore these risks will inevitably experience dental decay. Especially good oral care knowledge should be given to children at a young age, and it should be ensured that they maintain this oral care routine as they grow older so that their risk of having a tooth decay problem lowers as they get older.
Tooth Decay Types
Not all tooth decay is the same, and the dentist’s examinations can determine the types. There are three main tooth decay types. The first tooth decay type is the smooth surface cavity. This type of tooth cavity occurs when bacteria and plaque start building up on the exterior smooth surface of the tooth.
This type of tooth decay is easy to treat. Another tooth decay type is the pit and fissure cavity. This type of tooth cavity occurs on the surfaces of the posterior teeth and behind the anterior teeth. It can be treated with pit and fissure sealants. The last type is the root cavity. It is often seen in adults because the chance of gum recession increases with age. When the gums recede, the roots are exposed, and this can lead to tooth decay.
Treatment for Tooth Decay
Today, there are several effective treatments for tooth decay. At first, if tooth decay is in the early stages, fluoride can be applied to treat and prevent possible tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and prevents bacterial acids. Many kinds of toothpaste have fluoride in them.
So, brushing your teeth properly even helps you with this treatment. Another standard treatment for tooth decay is dental filling. It is usually applied in the early stages of tooth decay. In this treatment, the dentist removes the decayed area of the tooth and replaces it with a dental filling. This cavity-filling treatment is meant to last longer, but sometimes it may need to be replaced over time.
A root canal is a treatment for tooth decay as well. In this treatment, the dentist removes the diseased pulp in the root of the tooth. Then, the dentist cleans and forms the root canal inside and fills the gap. The last treatment is tooth extraction. It is performed if the tooth decay has yet to be treated and worsens over time.
Usually, treating tooth decay is easy, but if you don’t take it seriously, it can lead to tooth loss. That is why you should see a dentist to get the best treatment if you have tooth decay. Yet, the dentist can suggest you get dental implants for your missing tooth. Since dental implants are artificial, they can’t get tooth decay like your natural tooth.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay?
There are some tips for you to prevent tooth decay. The first thing to prevent tooth decay is to practice oral hygiene. You should brush and floss your teeth at least three times a day. Practicing oral hygiene is the main problem that causes tooth decay. Also, watching what you consume may help prevent tooth decay.
Consuming too many sugary and acidic foods and beverages can lead you to cavities. That is why you can prevent tooth decay by eating healthy foods and avoiding sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Having dental check-ups is another way of preventing tooth decay. Sometimes at first, cavities might not even cause any symptoms. Yet, dentists can notice potential problems in advance. During dental check-ups, the dentist can inform you if your tooth is starting to decay. Thus, the dentist can treat your cavities before the symptoms get worse. Dentists can also detect tooth decay with dental x-rays, even if it is not visible.
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