WHAT CAUSES TOOTH DECAY? - 5 REASONS FOR TOOTH DECAY
Tooth decay and cavities are one of the most common dental diseases among others. Tooth decay and cavities are common among children teenagers, and the elderly in particular. But, any person in the world who has teeth can suffer from the same disorder regardless of their age. If the treatment for the decay in teeth is not treated and delayed, it can have further consequences such as tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, dental abscess, tartar, infection, and even tooth loss. In order to not face these consequences, regular dental check-ups and visits are quite important. You can also take a look at our tips to prevent decay in teeth, below.
In this article, we will cover what is actually dental decay, what causes it, how to prevent decay, who are at risk because of tooth decay, its treatment options, its symptoms, and many more. So, keep reading this article if you are suffering from this disorder and want to know it better.
Table of Contents
What is a Tooth Decay?
The damage to a tooth’s surface or the enamel is called tooth decay. Dental decay causing bacteria in your mouth and they form plaque and produce acid from plaque which attacks the tooth enamel. That is mostly because of the intake of too much sugar in the body. Because bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and form acid that harms your teeth and creates cavities and decay in teeth. So, limiting sugar intake is the best protection against tooth decay.
If dental plaque is allowed to build up, tooth decay can lead to cavities also known as dental caries which causes holes in your mouth, gum diseases, and tooth abscess if the tooth decay advances to the tooth’s root (root decay) and this can cause tooth pain, infection or even tooth loss.
5 Causes Decay in Teeth
Learn more about the risk factors why tooth decay may occur.
1) Sugars and Starches
Every person on earth has bacteria in their mouth. After eating or drinking sugar reach things bacteria in your mouth turn the sugar into acid. A plaque starts forming on your teeth. This plaque can lead to tooth decay, cavities, tartar, loss of teeth, or even dental caries called cavities. And, the more you consume sugars and starches, the higher the risk of getting cavities and decay in the tooth in a short period of time. Consuming sugary foods and drinks are the leading causes of decay.
So, avoid sipping sugary drinks and having snacks that are rich in sugars and starches. If you consumed these, choose fluoride containing toothpaste and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Using fluoride toothpaste is the best option to clean the decayed material on your teeth.
2) Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral health conditions caused by poor dental hygiene habits also lead to decay in teeth. Because the particles of food and harmful bacteria remain on your teeth. And, this becomes constant damage to the enamel layer that causes a deeper and deeper cavity.
Inconsistent brushing and flossing like brushing your teeth once in a while, not brushing your teeth long enough, or not brushing your teeth at all allow food particles to remain on the surface of the teeth and destroy your oral health.
3) Dry Mouth
Less saliva flow which causes dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay. Because the more dry mouth equals increased decay of the tooth. Additionally, saliva has the utmost importance to maintain good oral health and prevent tooth decay. Saliva helps break down and wash away food particles by keeping the mouth wet. Additionally, it strengthens and safeguards teeth against acids and plaque. Also, dehydration brought on by inadequate water intake results in a dry mouth.
4) Cutting Off Regular Dental Checkups
For those who believe they cannot afford the cost of treatment and delaying a dental appointment may seem like a smart option in the short term. Delaying a visit to the dentist, however, might result in a much larger, more expensive, and time-consuming treatment. It is always a good idea to do your checkups regularly.
Hence, regular dental disease control holds its importance for preventing tooth decay in the early stages.
5) Untreated Medical Disease
Certain diseases can pose a threat to your dental health condition. Moreover, cutting off a medical disorder untreated can have a huge impact on your dental and oral health. Additionally, some medicals can also have harmful side effects. Twice-a-year check-ups are highly recommended.
So, you should not leave a medical disease or disorder untreated because it can have further consequences. And bear in mind that, informing your dentists about the medicals that you use is an essential point. Because when you think you are curing some disorder in your body, you may actually harm your dental health.
Symptoms of Tooth Decay
Tooth sensitivity to too hot or cold foods and drinks.
Sharp pain in your mouth after consuming hot, cold or sweet things.
Unpleasant taste in your mouth.
Gray, brown or black spots on your teeth.
Facial swelling caused by a dental abscess.
Mouth pain and toothache which feels like a sharp pain.
Who are at Risk for Tooth Decay?
Older adults are at a higher risk because older adults who had fillings in their childhood can develop cavities around the old fillings which are exposed from receding gums. If fillings are not replaced with new ones, the quality of life will decrease drastically for older people. So, to protect the tooth from decay, visiting a dentist regularly and having the old fillings checked is so important.
Children are also at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay and cavities vary from person to person so, child to child as well. Detecting decay in baby teeth also called baby bottle tooth decay at an early age is so significant to avoid tooth decay and protect the child’s teeth. Visit a dentist periodically with your children to avoid any decay on the children’s teeth.
How Can You Prevent Tooth Decay?
Let us consider the answer of how to prevent tooth decay and how to prevent cavities? Keep in mind the tips to stop tooth decay that we have shared below so that early tooth decay can be treated as soon as possible.
Use fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and do not forget to brush your tongue as well.
Floss your teeth everyday and use mouthwash regularly.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
Visit a dentist regularly.
Have a good oral hygiene routine.
Do not miss any regular dental checkups.
Try to have nutritious and balanced meals.
Chewing sugar free gum after meals helps for the saliva production.
What are The Treatments for Tooth Decay?
Treatment for tooth decay depends on how intense it is. Without the treatment, bacteria will reach the center of the tooth which contains veins and blood vessels. And, after they reach the root of the tooth, real decay that leads to cavities started. It is strongly suggested by dentists to get the necessary treatment for this dental disease before advanced decay occurs.
Below, let’s take a look at tooth decay treatment options.
If you are not getting enough fluoride caused by eating disorders for instance, which can also result in stomach acid, periodic fluoride treatments can be recommended.
Fillings are made of various materials such as gold, silver, amalgam or composite resin. Dentists can fill the hole caused by decay with fillings.
Root Canal Treatment:
If the damage of tooth decay spreads inside the tooth, root canal may be considered.
For the most intense cases, pulling the tooth can be another treatment option. After extraction, a dental bridge or a dental implant for replacing missing tooth is suggested.
Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth to protect early tooth decay.
If you are looking a dental clinic for fixing your tooth decay, you can look at the article that we have told how you can find an elite dental clinic for your dental treatments!
Can Tooth Enamel Cause Decay?
Tooth enamel can definitely cause tooth decay. After you eat, bacteria in your mouth make acids from sugars and destroy your enamel. After some period of time, the erosion starts which damages the tooth to decay. After the enamel has gone, the tooth’s soft inner surfaces will be exposed to the surroundings and any food and liquid you consume. The damaged tooth will therefore be more exposed to discoloration or staining. The sensitivity of your tooth to hot and cold foods and beverages will also increase.
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Not brushing your teeth very well and regularly, consuming too much sugar, and not using fluoride toothpaste are the main reasons behind tooth decay. Dry mouth and untreated medical diseases also lead to tooth decay.
It is not possible to reverse tooth decay generally. But if it’s caught at the very early stage of the demineralization process, there is a chance of reversing it. During this process, having good oral hygiene habits are so important to restore the minerals in your teeth.
Drinking sugar in rich drinks, not cleaning their teeth well, and also old dental fillings cause tooth decay in adults.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, less saliva flow, particles of sugars, and starches left on the baby’s teeth in toddlers.
Stress and anxiety are actually linked to tooth decay on a chemical level. Because people who are suffering from chronic stress neglect their dental hygiene routine and consumes so much alcohol and smoke which makes bacteria spread and grow.