If you have tooth ache, chances are that there has been some tooth decay, otherwise known as dental caries.
There are many underlying causes for tooth decay. Your tooth enamel breaks down when certain bacteria produce specific enzymes and acid attacking the tooth enamel and the dentin contained within, resulting in tooth decay.
How to Spot Dental Decay?
You need to check in with a dentist for regular check-ups as the doctor can spot a decay well in advance before you even start suspecting one. A simple dental x-ray should help identify the offending tooth, after which there are certain procedures you can opt for.
What causes Dental Caries?
Primarily a tooth decay occurs when the acid produced by the bacteria buildup on your teeth which attack the hard enamel. The acid corrodes away the hard enamel, before getting to the soft dentin. Soon you will develop chances of having a cavity.
If you do not treat the decay in time, the cavity will grow and soon the acid will start attacking the pulp and other sensitive nerve endings, which often results in moderate to severe pain.
Consequences of Dental Decay
Soon you will find it hard even to grin or bite down on anything. Moreover, tooth decay can also lead to inflammation on one side or both sides of your face.
Often, tooth decay can also cause earaches though this is not always the case. Additionally, receding gums often expose the root of the tooth to bacteria. The resulting acids produced cause your tooth to decay even faster. So make a point of paying your dentist a visit once a month and get your teeth checked out.
How to Prevent Dental Decay?
While there are a few measures your dentist can employ to know if there is tooth decay, there is not much he can do once the decay gets to the pulp. The only treatment then is to go in for a root canal treatment or to remove the tooth – things you would rather want to avoid. Apart from paying your dentist regular visits, you can also take a few preventive measures by cleaning your tooth regularly.
Plaque is a sticky film found on your teeth which collects bacteria, food particulates, and other materials. You can take a few preventive measures by ensuring no plaque builds up. Flossing and brushing your teeth regularly and rinsing your mouth with a mouth rinse can help, and a visit to your dentist once every six months can work great too.
Try to avoid consuming food items loaded with sugar as it can help cause tooth decay. Try to opt for a fluoride based toothpaste, as it helps to strengthen your tooth enamel. You can try chewing Xylitol based gums as it can hinder bacterial growth on your teeth. Bottom line, you need to adopt better dental hygiene and even go in for a lifestyle change to prevent tooth decay.
One of the early indications of tooth decay is a white spot on the enamel, so make a point to check your teeth regularly. If you come across any such spot, consult your dentist right away! Tooth decay is reversible if diagnosed at the early stage.