Cavities and tooth decay are a major cause of pain and discomfort, unpleasant symptoms and even tooth loss. Cavities and tooth decay are a major problem here in Australia amongst adults, young people and children. For that reason you need to ask your preferred dental Coorparoo for advice to try and prevent the formation of cavities and tooth decay as an essential part of maintaining good dental health.
What are cavities and tooth decay?
Tooth decay is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that exist in the mouth. When we can eat sugary snacks, fizzy drinks and carbohydrates, these bacteria produce acids that are capable of destroying the enamel or the outer layer of the tooth. They create small holes in the teeth.
Once the hole works its way through the enamel it progresses into the dentine which is the middle softer layer of the tooth in comparison to the hard enamel.
If you do not visit the dentist regularly and the cavity is not treated then the hole can reach the dental pulp and affect the nerves at the centre of the tooth. This results in toothache and huge discomfort. By this time your dentist will probably have to perform a root canal treatment. If the damage is irreversible then the tooth may need to be extracted.
How do cavities develop?
There are several factors that can cause the development of cavities and tooth decay. A good understanding of this can help prevent such issues. Your dentist will be able to give excellent tips for the whole family, but read on to find out how cavities and decay work.
Tooth enamel is the hardest structure of the human body. However different factors such as genetics determine your resistance to attack from cavities and decay. Dental plaque is the sticky layer that is deposited on the surface of the teeth as a result of poor oral hygiene.
This plaque is made up of bacteria and food particles from the mouth. If this remains on the surface of the teeth then this can damage the enamel. When we eat sweet, sticky food the bacteria feed on the food and flourish. This includes chocolate, cookies, pastries, sweets, even fruit and drinks.
How to look after your teeth
There are many tips to prevent the formation of cavities and tooth decay. Good dental hygiene including brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day using an appropriate toothbrush is very important.
It is also recommended that you floss between your teeth to remove lingering bacteria and food particles. A fluoride mouthwash should be used to strengthen the enamel of your teeth. Healthy eating and reducing sugary snacks and drinks from your diet is also an excellent preventive measure for the development of cavities and tooth decay.
If you do eat sweets, chocolates and enjoy fizzy drinks then you need to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards. It is important that you visit your dentist on a regular basis and they can identify any signs of cavities very early on so that they can help you reverse the damage and enjoy healthy teeth and gums for life.
Disclaimer: All treatments carry risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.