Tooth decay and cavities are issues most of us will have to deal with at some point in our lives.
When your teeth start to decay, you may not be aware of it until the damage is quite extensive and causes more problems. That’s why regular visits to your dentist are important so tooth decay and cavities can be detected and treated early.
The Causes of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is caused by a combination of bacteria, saliva, acid, and food particles called plaque which sticks to your teeth and eats away at your enamel. The more sugary drinks and snacks you have, the more your teeth will be exposed to plaque, and the higher your chances of tooth decay. You can’t avoid producing plaque because it’s made whenever you eat or drink something, even non-sugary foods. However, you can reduce the damage it causes by brushing your teeth after every meal.
Recognising the Symptoms
A tooth cavity is more likely to occur in the back teeth because their grooves can trap food particles and it’s harder to reach them when brushing and flossing. The first signs of tooth decay might be pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking, sudden toothache, or pain when biting down.
Treating Tooth Decay and Cavities
If you’re seeing your dentist for regular check-ups any small tooth cavity or tooth decay, will be detected and treated before it can cause more damage. Fluoride treatments can restore your tooth enamel in very early stages of tooth decay, but a filling is often needed to prevent the decay from spreading. For more serious cases, you may need crowns or a root canal.