Practicing good oral hygiene through proper teeth brushing and flossing regime, in addition to visiting the dentist for professional cleaning services, are great ways to maintain a healthy smile. However, if you tend to neglect your teeth by practicing poor cleaning habits and choose to indulge in sugary foods, your teeth can be negatively impacted through the process of tooth decay.
Read on to learn about the symptoms, causes and prevention of tooth decay!
Understanding Tooth Decay
You’ll be extra cautious about your teeth cleaning routine in addition to the food you choose to indulge in once you understand how cavities occur. Check out our recent blog post, “The Truth Behind How Sugars Affect Your Teeth and Overall Health,” for an in-depth understanding of how sugar wears down your tooth enamel, potentially leading to tooth decay. Your enamel acts as your teeth’s protective layer, and its minerals help protect the layers of your teeth from the sensitivity of hot, cold and acidic beverages.
When your tooth enamel becomes softened due to acid damaging your tooth, cavities can occur. Acid production occurs when the plaque bacteria in your mouth reacts with the sugars that you consume. If tooth decay is left untreated, a cavity can form. Attending regularly scheduled cleaning appointments can help identify early stages of cavity development, and your dentist can act to prevent the dental cavity from worsening.
Symptoms of Cavities
If your tooth decay worsens and a cavity begins to form, you may experience the following common symptoms: toothache or pain in the affected area and tooth sensitivity. For example, when drinking hot or cold beverages or sweets, you may experience extreme sensitivity. If you are experiencing any symptoms, book an appointment with your dentist to begin treatment.
Causes of Tooth Decay
We all appreciate a balance in life but at what expense? For example, a leading cause of tooth decay is the consumption of sugary foods and acidic beverages. We’re talking about your favourite sticky treats and sodas! While we understand the importance of enjoying sugary snacks in moderation, it might not be worth the potential of cavities. The formula for the leading cause of tooth decay is quite simple: consuming high content of sugary items will lead to acid production in your mouth. In addition, other factors can contribute to cavities including, poor cleaning habits. When you fail to practice good oral hygiene, plaque formation will increase. Likewise, if you choose to consume sugary snacks, your teeth will be more susceptible to the effects of tooth decay.
How to Prevent Cavities
You can decrease your chances of experiencing tooth decay by practicing good oral hygiene and limiting your sugar intake. Here are a few tips to prevent tooth decay:
- Brush and floss often. Plaque buildup is nothing to take lightly, especially since it plays a role in tooth decay development. Be sure to brush and floss a few times per day to remove any food or sugar stuck on the teeth.
- Carry a toothbrush on you. While this might seem silly, having a portable toothbrush on you can be a great way to remove sticky substances from your teeth right after you consume them. As a result, you’re decreasing the chances of plaque building up!
- Enjoy sugar snacks in moderation. Since sugar consumption is one of the leading causes of tooth decay, it makes sense to limit your intake as much as possible. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try to swap out a candy bar for a peach or another fruit that’s in season.
Remember, if you’re experiencing sensitivity or pain in your tooth, let your dentist know. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, be sure to book your professional cleaning services at Cranberry Hill Dentistry.