One of the most common dental problems is tooth decay, and sadly, not many people know about it. A tooth has three distinguishable parts. The upper layer is called the enamel, and then there’s second layer known as dentin. The center of the tooth is called the pulp and it contains the blood vessels and nerves. In this post, we will discuss tooth decay, treatment, prevention and other aspects that you need to know.
What’s tooth decay?
This is basically a condition when germs in the mouth damage the teeth enamel. Plaque can harbor bacterial growth on the surface of the tooth. Bacterial growth, in turn, produces acids, which eats away the enamel. As the infection continues to grow, a hole may form in the concerned tooth, which is called a cavity. If not treated in time, one can suffer from pain and gum swelling, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. You can refer to this page to know more.
Knowing the causes
People with questionable oral hygiene are more prone to tooth decay. An increase in plaque formation can increase the chances of tooth decay. If you eat a lot of sugary foods and drinks, you are more susceptible to the condition. Tooth decay is mostly trigged by poor dental care. The lack of fluoride can also trigger the growth of plaque. Saliva is known to have mild antibacterial properties, and therefore, people with dry mouth can have cavities more than others. Patients suffering from diabetes are a higher risk, as well. Tobacco use has been linked with tooth decay too.
The most common symptom of tooth decay is toothache. You may have unexpected pain in the concerned tooth, especially at night. In many cases, there is visible swelling in the gums, as well, which indicates extreme signs of tooth decay. People with cavities often have bad breath too, and one can even find black spots on the teeth.
Early detection of tooth decay is extremely important. If diagnosed early, you can use fluoride toothpaste to stop further growth of the cavity. Your dentist may also suggest additional fluoride treatments too. If there is considerable damage to the enamel, the dentist may use a filling to fill the induced hole, while in other cases, the crown must be replaced with a new one. In case the root of the tooth is infected and filled with abscess, a root canal treatment is the only option. In extreme case, extraction is the only choice. Your dentist may use a bridge to replace the lost tooth.
Prevention of tooth decay
Proper and regular brushing and flossing can prevent tooth decay considerably. Self-inspection of the mouth should be done frequently to find the early signs. Regular dental checkups are also important, and ideally, you should see a dentist at least once in every six months. It is also advisable to avoid sugary foods, which help in bacterial growth.
Use a good brush and do talk to your dentist if you need product recommendations.