Tooth decay is a process that starts long before you may be aware that a cavity is forming. Initially, damage to the enamel of your teeth is barely noticeable, with no symptoms.
Untreated, the decay will slowly progress to deeper layers, and then eventually to the highly sensitive pulp. By this stage, you’ll experience sharp or sudden pain.
Dentists can identify the first signs of tooth decay and work quickly to prevent it getting worse. With today’s gentle techniques, regular visits can be a pleasant experience.
Still, prevention is better than cure, so what are some of the reasons that so many of us show signs of tooth decay?
Poor Oral Hygiene
We all have bacteria in our mouth, but with a good cleaning routine, tooth decay is avoidable. Few of us want to admit that we don’t brush as regularly as we should, but perhaps in our busy lives, it’s easy to forget that we need to brush for at least 2 minutes, twice a day. Its preferable to brush after every meal, and don’t forget to regularly brush your tongue, use mouthwash and floss.
The bacteria in your mouth that causes tooth decay celebrates when sugary foods are on the menu. It flourishes and can coat your teeth with a damaging acid in seconds. You might think sweets are the only culprit, but there are foods with less obvious sugar content that can be just as damaging. Even dried fruit and cereal can cause problems if it isn’t followed up with a good brush.
Perhaps carbonated soda is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an acidic drink, but fruit juice can cause just as much damage. The bacteria in your mouth don’t feed off this sugar in the same way it does with food, but the acid in the drinks themselves cause immediate damage to your tooth enamel.
Sometimes, it’s also a matter of the luck of the draw. You might have inherited your mother’s smile and your father’s hair, but you can also inherit less visible traits such as deep tooth crevices. This increases the chances of harbouring bacteria that leads to tooth decay.
All of us experience some degree of gum recession with age. On top of that, many prescription medications cause dry mouth. And if you’ve been less than strict on oral hygiene, it does finally catch up with age.
Establish a good routine as early as possible and be aware that the tooth decay process starts long before you experience signs like sensitive teeth. Visit Hawthorn Road Family Dental Clinic to ensure your teeth stay healthy.