If you have ever wondered what the most common disease in the world is, it is not the common cold. It is actually tooth decay. In addition, that is not surprising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay or dental caries affects 9 out of 10 adults aged 20 and older. It is also a chronic illness that does not go away on its own.
On the other hand, tooth decay is also the easiest illness to avoid. Proper dental hygiene and regular dental exams are your best weapons against it. With the right information, you can be free from tooth decay without a problem.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Took decay occurs when your tooth deteriorates because of plaque. More precisely, It is when the enamel portion of your teeth gets worn down by colonies of bad oral bacteria, forming deep holes that destroy your tooth’s structure.
Enamel is the outermost portion of your teeth. It is a tough surface that protects the softer dentin inside. In a way, it is similar to a force field. Meanwhile, your mouth contains a huge number of microorganisms that grow in colonies wherever they stick to. Some of these organisms or bacteria stick to your teeth and turn them into their own home.
This should not be a problem if it were not for their acidity. These microorganisms tend to make their surroundings more acidic thanks to their natural metabolism. Enamels hate acidity and will start to weaken upon exposure. When you do not brush your teeth, these micro-sized organisms will keep multiplying, further making their part of your teeth more acidic and forming plaque.
Over time, the plaque will start eating through the affected tooth until it reaches the dentin. This is how you start to get tooth pains when eating something sweet, hot, or cold. The pain will only grow stronger the deeper the plaque goes until it becomes an unbearable toothache.
In many cases, tooth decay can cause tooth loss.
How To Avoid Tooth Decay
The best way to deal with the highly-acidic, plaque-forming, tooth-breaking bacteria in your mouth is through regular brushing and flossing. This disrupts their numbers and makes it harder for them to get into the kind of size they need to form plaque. The toothpaste you use also makes it harder for them to multiply because it turns your mouth more basic, the literal opposite of acidic.
In fact, you should use a good fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day just to keep the overall acidity in your mouth at a minimum. Fluoride also has the added benefit of strengthening your enamel. This makes it harder for plaque to break your teeth in case they do form.
However, bacteria can still cling to your teeth’s roots and cause periodontitis. Sometimes, you might even miss certain spots where plaque could more easily form. Normally, a well-placed water flosser should remove most of the plaque-forming bacteria in your mouth. It is important for you to see us twice a year so we can do a complete dental cleaning of your teeth.
Just because you have good oral hygiene does not mean that you can skip your dental checkups. At Janice K. Pliszczak, DDS, we can help you avoid tooth decay or treat it with a crown and other restorative treatments. Just call us at (315) 800-5020 to schedule an appointment.