Ever since you were children, dentists have been warned you about tooth decay. They would remind you to brush and floss daily and avoid eating candies during Halloween. But while they didn’t make sense when you were children, it makes sense now that tooth decay is easily seen in adults. In fact, tooth decay is one of the most popular dental problems experienced by adults of any age. Read the full article to know more about this.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, refers to the damage done to your teeth because of damaged enamel. Enamel is the semi-clear coating on your teeth that protects them from breaking and getting stained by the dye in food and beverages. This coating gets damaged when naturally-occurring bacteria in your saliva convert sugar and salt into acids that eat away the enamel on your teeth. This is why dentists always remind their patients to manage their sugar and salt intake because they will damage your teeth when taken in large amounts.
Tooth decay can also be caused by having food residue on your mouth for too long. Bacteria will break down these foods and will affect the enamel in your teeth.
What are the symptoms of tooth decay?
The most common symptoms of tooth decay are sensitive teeth and toothache. At first, tooth decay can start by teeth numbing or aching for a few times a week. Then you’ll notice that the pain becomes intolerable and that is usually a sign that your teeth are becoming weak.
The formation of cavities is also a sign of tooth decay. Cavities can range in color from yellow to black and they are very obvious to spot. During worse cases of tooth decay, the symptoms can be teeth easily cracking even when you bite softer food.
How do you prevent tooth decay?
There are many ways to prevent tooth decay and some of those ways can be done at home.
The goal of brushing is to remove the excess food and beverage that stayed in your mouth, tongue, and gums. As you brush, you have to keep in mind that you should be able to remove anything that’s stuck on your teeth. It helps if you accompany this with flossing to make sure that your mouth is clean and fresh.
Have the right amount of fluoride.
Fluoride is the number one mineral that your teeth need if you need them to be strong. Fluoride is responsible for strengthening your teeth although it is also not healthy if you have a lot of it. You can get fluoride in tubes of toothpaste that are made to combat tooth decay.
Avoid snacking on junk food.
A big factor in reinforcing tooth decay is snacking. Snacks like junk foods, candies, and chocolates are a rich source of sugar and if you’re a heavy snacker, then your chances of getting tooth decay are high. If you feel that you are hungry, you can drink a glass of water instead because sometimes, you only think that you are hungry. You can also try munching on something that is a lot healthier than junk food. You can prepare slices of fruit or prepare an easy salad to-go so that you can just eat it when you feel hungry between meals.
Make regular visits to the dentist.
This may be a difficult commitment because not a lot of people are fond of dentists, but a trip to the dentist is always going to be worth it. Your dentist can assess the state of your teeth and tell you if there are signs of tooth decay or gum infection. Moreover, a dentist will give you expert advice on how to properly care for your teeth. Visit the dentist at least twice a year or every 6 months.
So while it is still early, make sure that you take care of your teeth so that it doesn’t become a problem when you grow up. When not prevented, tooth decay can cause infection in your gums and can lead to more serious dental problems. Make sure to consult a dentist once you experience the symptoms of tooth decay.