Preventative dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on keeping teeth healthy and preventing dental issues from forming. Taking good care of your mouth reduces your risk of developing common problems like tooth decay and gum disease. It also saves you money and time that would have been spent getting dental treatments in the…
What Can Cause Tooth Decay?
Struggling with tooth decay? Continue reading to learn more about how tooth decay occurs and how it can be addressed. Almost everyone experiences some level of tooth decay at one point or another throughout life. It is unfortunately something that is difficult to prevent. However, having an understanding of what causes tooth decay may be helpful in avoiding it to some degree.
How tooth decay forms
Below is a quick explanation of how tooth decay forms, including what typically causes it. This information may be helpful to those looking to keep their teeth healthy.
Understanding tooth decay
Tooth decay is what happens when the teeth begin to deteriorate as a result of unhealthy areas. It is important to know that tooth decay is often not visible, making it difficult to know when it is occurring. On the other hand, some do experience symptoms, such as dark spots on teeth, pain, or foul odors.
Common causes of tooth decay
Tooth decay is most commonly caused by a lack of oral hygiene. It can be very easy to slack on oral hygiene or to completely skip it. While it may not seem detrimental in the short term, over time, the teeth will ultimately suffer. After eating, there is almost always left-behind residue that sticks to the teeth and the gumlines. If this residue is not brushed off soon after, it will turn into bacteria, which results in an attack on the teeth. Over time, this can cause tooth decay.
Another cause of tooth decay is poor lifestyle habits, such as an unhealthy diet, smoking, and drinking alcohol. An unhealthy diet that consists of acidic sodas or sugary foods can result in tooth decay. Similarly, smoking tobacco products and drinking alcohol in excess amounts can cause the minerals that make up the teeth to break down and deteriorate.
Some individuals experience tooth decay due to genetics or pre-existing health conditions. For example, those with digestive health conditions often experience vomiting on a regular basis, which results in an excess amount of acid in the oral cavity. The acids attack the mineralized enamel of the teeth and can cause decay to begin almost immediately.
Prevent tooth decay
Regardless of how tooth decay forms, it is important to know that it can be prevented. Avoiding excess consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages can make a significant difference in the overall health of the teeth. Additionally, it is necessary to be disciplined about brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. Lastly, visiting a general dentist on a regular basis will go a long way for oral health. Dentists are able to detect warning signs early and perform in-depth cleanings to ensure that plaque and tartar are not present.
Some individuals may have specific prevention tips to follow, however, those would have to be determined by a dentist. To get started, it is best to undergo a consultation. Any questions or concerns about tooth decay and prevention can be addressed. Contact our dental office today to learn more or to get scheduled for an appointment.
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