Tooth decay, or sometimes called dental caries, occurs when tooth enamel softens due to acids. When you eat, the plaque bacteria in your mouth decompose sugar, and it produces acids. Tooth enamel is the protective layer that secures the teeth from possible damages. When acid weakens tooth enamel gradually, a cavity can form on the surface of the tooth. Depending on the location and extent of cavities, their signs and symptoms differ. Symptoms are hardly evident when tooth decay is just starting. It leaves you with no clue that a cavity is forming in your teeth. It is essential to visit your dentist regularly even when you don’t feel problems with your mouth. Signs and symptoms will only be felt as the decay gets bigger. Symptoms of decay include toothache, tooth sensitivity, pain when biting, holes in the teeth, staining on the teeth surface, and pain when eating certain foods.
If you experience any tooth decay symptoms, you should get a checkup from your dentist right away. One of the best treatments for cavities and tooth decay is dental filling. A dental filling can effectively stop the teeth cavity from further expanding. Once you have the fillings, a regular checkup is still vital to monitor the condition of these fillings. As time goes, you may notice that the edges of the fillings became rough. The filling material can wear out and start to break down. Plaque can build up on uneven or weak fillings, making plaque removal difficult for you. Products that contain fluoride can help you fight cavities and tooth decay. Using fluoride helps rebuild the weak spots of your teeth before they can turn into cavities.
This article explains the common causes of tooth decay.
1. Mouth Bacteria
The presence of bacteria in your body is natural and sometimes beneficial. “Good” bacteria have valuable functions in the gut. Unfortunately, the bacteria found in your mouth and teeth are promoters of dental caries. These bacteria break down the carbohydrates that stick with your teeth and form acid.
2. Eating Sugary Foods
Tooth decay happens as a result of trapped carbohydrates between the teeth. Carbohydrates are found in almost every food. They are sometimes hard to remove with brushing alone. We eat to live, so there is no way you can stop eating. Certain foods cause tooth decay more than the others. Sugary and starchy foods like soda, candies, fruits, cookies, cakes, milk, honey, cereal, and bread cling to your teeth and promote plaque.
As mentioned above, breaking down sugar produces acid. When you eat more sugary foods, more acid will form inside your mouth. Acid leads to tooth decay, and tooth decay brings about cavities. Whenever you eat sugary food, your teeth become prone to acid attack for the coming 20 minutes. To minimize your risk of developing a cavity, brush your teeth regularly, especially after eating sugary foods.
3. Having a Dry Mouth
Your saliva flushes away plaque and lessens the impact of acid. When you have a dry mouth, also called Xerostomia, your salivary glands are not making enough saliva to maintain the dampness of your mouth. Having very few salivae allows plaque to accumulate faster.
4. Bad Oral Care
Regular teeth cleaning is vital. If you do not brush the teeth and floss regularly, you enable plaque to attack your tooth enamel. The American Dental Association suggests that you should brush your teeth for two minutes each time, at least twice every day. Brushing your teeth helps prevent the plaque from building up and limits your chance of forming teeth cavity.
5. Eating Often
Some weight-loss diets recommend eating small, frequent meals. It is essential to keep in mind that eating often will give acid more time to ruin your teeth regardless of food. Brushing your teeth every after a meal will remove plaque and promote weight loss by reducing your appetite for snacking. When you brush, and your mouth feels cleaner, it is unlikely for you to snack.
6. Gum Recession
Receding gums, also known as Gingival Recession, promotes the buildup of plaque close to the teeth’ roots. The teeth roots are not guarded by the tooth enamel, making it more vulnerable to tooth decay.