The term tooth decay is a broad term that describes when teeth are damaged and the structure becomes flawed. The enamel layer on our teeth is the coating that keeps our teeth protected and prevents infections, so the more enamel we lose the more painful side effects we are likely to experience, and this can even lead to tooth loss or other complications. The way to prevent tooth decay is to employ effective oral hygiene measures and limit the frequency of sugar in your diet.
Causes of tooth decay
Our mouths are full of bacteria, but it is the acid released by this bacterium that damages the outer layers of our teeth and causes long-term negative effects. Without regular brushing and with low levels of saliva production (drink lots of water!), this build-up of bacteria becomes plaque on our teeth leading to damage to our teeth’s enamel. The reason people who consume foods that are high in sugar are more prone to tooth decay is because the bacteria feeds on this sugar and produces even more acid that then attacks the enamel.
Signs to watch for
Signs of tooth decay are not easily spotted. You may get increased sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, if you feel pain in your mouth it is possible that it is caused by some form of tooth decay. Other signs to watch out for are cavities and white, black, or brown coloured spots on the teeth which also point to enamel erosion. If you suspect you have any of these symptoms, book in a consultation with one of our experienced dentists at our Aardent Dental Centre today. Remember that early problems can go undetected unless you have regular check-ups.
The good news is that by following a solid oral hygiene routine, where consistency is key, you can avoid tooth decay completely. Start by brushing your teeth after meals, flossing daily, and drinking plenty of fluoridated water to rinse your mouth and keep you hydrated. Keeping a balanced diet with a low sugar intake is not only a great way to help your teeth stay healthy, as does minimising snacking between meals, but it also aids in reducing the acidic levels within the mouth. Another vital step is getting regular dental check-ups with us at our Perth dental clinic to make sure your oral hygiene is on track.
Treatment for tooth decay
There are many stages and variations of tooth decay, so the first step to prevent any further damage is to get a proper diagnosis. A dentist will be able to analyse your symptoms and suggest the best course of treatment, from improving your oral hygiene routine and starting fluoride treatment to needing a filling or crown for teeth that are already damaged. If significant deterioration has occurred inside the tooth, then you may need a root canal treatment. Should you have any queries about treatment, or advice on getting dental implants in Perth when you have tooth decay, get in touch with our friendly team today at Aardent Dental Centre in Victoria Park.