by Blog Hub

Tooth decay is the worst nightmare to pearly white, healthy teeth. To have a nice, bright smile you need to have perfectly healthy teeth. Maintaining our oral health is of key importance as unhealthy teeth can cause several health issues. So, nice, white teeth not only look appealing, but they also play a key role in our overall health. Tooth decay is also called cavity or caries and it implies permanent damage to the hard surface of our tooth. Everybody who has teeth, regardless of their age, is at risk of tooth decay. Some people are more susceptible, while some are less. Regardless, a number of factors affect the potential development of tooth decay. What can surely prevent them from happening or spreading are regular visits to your dentist.

The aim of this article is to explain what tooth decay is as well as its symptoms. We will also cover the causes of tooth decay and the factors that increase tooth decay. Finally, we will also deal with some ways to prevent tooth decay from happening.

1. What is tooth decay?

As we already briefly mentioned at the beginning of the article, tooth decay is permanent damage to the hard surface of teeth. They are dangerous and unpleasant as they can create tiny openings or holes in the teeth. Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in the world. If you don’t treat cavities promptly, they can escalate and create even bigger issues. They can affect deeper layers of teeth and lead to severe toothache, teeth loss and infections.

How does a cavity form?

Plaque forms on your teeth when food residue and bacteria build-up. The bacteria that is a part of the plaque produces strong acids that can erode the enamel on the surface of your teeth. To prevent plaque from happening, you should brush and floss your teeth regularly. Otherwise, the plaque keeps building up and eating away the enamel on your teeth, leading to more severe cavities. As cavities create holes in teeth, they can even destroy the teeth eventually. Other complications can arise as well, such as tooth abscesses and infections getting into your bloodstream, which can be life-threatening. The best way to avoid cavities from happening is to visit a professional dental centre, such as Forum Dentistry for regular checkups.

2. What are the symptoms of decay?

Symptoms of cavities can differ and they depend on the location and severity of the decay. When it comes to cavities in their initial phase, there aren’t any symptoms necessarily. However, when decay is in progress, you might feel certain things regarding your teeth. For instance, signs such as toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that happens without an apparent reason can be symptoms of tooth decay. Moreover, tooth sensitivity as well as sensitivity to eating or drinking something cold, hot or sweet. If you have holes or pits in your teeth, it’s definitely a sign of a cavity. Also, staining on teeth surfaces as well as pain when biting down could be clear indicators that you should visit your dentist.

3. What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a process that happens over time and it creates cavities. How does tooth decay happen? Well, firstly, plaque forms. It emerges from eating sugary foods and foods that contain starch and not cleaning your teeth properly. If you don’t clean the sugar and starch off your teeth, bacteria start eating them away and plaque forms. Plaque that stays on your teeth for a longer time can harden and create tartar, which is even harder to remove.

The next phase encompasses acids from plaque eating away all the minerals in the enamel of your teeth. This causes tiny holes or openings, which is the first stage of cavities. When the outer layer, the enamel is eaten away, the bacteria can then attach to the next layer of your teeth, which is dentin. It is softer than enamel and less resistant to bacteria. Dentin contains tubes that are connected to nerves and that can lead to sensitivity. Furthermore, after dentin, there is the pulp that contains nerves and blood vessels. The pulp can become swollen and irritated and the pain can expand even to the bone.

4. Factors that increase decay

Among the factors that increase the risk for tooth decay are several prominent ones. First of all, the location of the tooth. Tooth decay often happens in the back teeth. Then, certain foods are not easily washed by saliva. These include ice cream, milk, sugar, honey, soda, dried fruit, cookies, cake, hard candy and mints, chips and dry cereal. Frequent snacking and sipping can also lead to tooth decay. Moreover, inadequate brushing and not getting enough fluoride can also cause tooth decay.

5. How to prevent tooth decay from happening?

When it comes to tooth decay prevention, there are a few things you can do to ensure you don’t develop tooth decay. For starters, you should brush your teeth after eating or drinking and you should use fluoride-based toothpaste. Also, you should rinse your teeth and visit your dentist regularly. Try eating tooth-healthy foods and avoid sugary foods and drinks.

It is possible to have a nice, healthy, cavity-free smile with these precautions in mind. Start slowly and take care of your teeth regularly, and you won’t have any complex issues related with your oral health.