What Can Cause Tooth Decay?

Everybody wants a bright, pearly white smile. Unfortunately, maintaining healthy teeth can often prove to be more challenging than one might think. If you are struggling with tooth decay and spend way too much time in the dentist’s chair than you would like, you might be wondering what could be causing the problem and how best to rectify it. Here is all of the information that you need to know.

oral hygiene, oral care, tooth decay, health
What Can Cause Tooth Decay?
[ image: pexels by sora shimazaki ]


Poor dental hygiene

Tooth decay occurs when harmful bacteria combine with certain food inside the mouth to form a sticky covering known as ‘plaque’. The bacteria feed off the starch and sugar content of the food you eat to continue producing acids. It is these acids that then gradually begin to attack the enamel on your teeth, eventually leading to cavities and tooth decay.

Proper dental hygiene, such as brushing your teeth at least twice per day using fluoride toothpaste and flossing frequently, helps to remove the build-up of bacteria, plaque, and tartar (a hardened, more persistent version of plaque) from your mouth. In doing so, it helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

If you would like to take further action, it is also recommended to rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash after every meal and to chew on sugar-free gum in between brushing sessions.

Not enough fluoride

As mentioned, fluoride toothpaste can work wonders in the fight against tooth decay. Be sure to check your tube of toothpaste before buying to make sure that it contains at least 1350 – 1500 ppm fluoride, as these particular levels are considered to be the most effective in terms of maintaining healthy teeth.

Not enough saliva

A dry mouth can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which is why people who do not naturally produce enough saliva might be at a greater risk of suffering from tooth decay. Low saliva production can be brought about as a result of taking certain medications, or it could be a symptom of some diseases.

If you are concerned, it is best to speak to your dentist about it, as well as ensure that you are drinking enough water throughout the day. After all, in many cases, low saliva production can also be caused by poor hydration.

Not getting regular dental check-ups

You should strive to visit your dentist at least once every year for a check-up to make doubly certain that your teeth are in good condition. If you suffer from gum disease or tend to get cavities more frequently than most, then it is best to schedule a check-up every six months.

Understanding the symptoms of tooth decay

It is vital to take action quickly as soon as you notice that your dental health is on the decline. This is why it pays to be able to recognize the symptoms of tooth decay. Contact your dentist immediately if you notice any of the following signs:

· Pain while eating or drinking

· Regular toothache

· Swollen gums or pus inside the mouth

· Abscesses

Now that you know what to watch out for and how to reduce your chances of tooth decay, you will be one step closer to a beautiful smile of which you can be proud!

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