Tooth decay is more common than you think. As per one latest study, one in every four Americans has some type of tooth decay. Even though dental cavities start without causing any pain or discomfort, they spread rapidly if not detected and treated on time. Delays in treatment can lead to teeth sensitivity and pain and result in gum diseases, teeth infections, and various other complications.
At TruCare Dentistry, we believe prevention is better than cure. Cavities are easily preventable with some basic care. We also know how dangerous cavities can become if they aren’t treated at the right time.
In this blog post, we have discussed the causes of tooth decay, signs and symptoms, suitable treatments, and preventive tips. Read on to know more.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is mainly caused by plaque deposits and harmful bacteria. When food particles remain in the mouth for a long time, the plaque buildup increases.
If the plaque remains for long, it becomes tartar and releases acids and other microorganisms that corrode the tooth surface.
Signs of tooth decay
Even though tooth decay is a silent and gradual process, it gives some tell-tale signs as it advances and manifests itself in the following ways.
- Tooth sensitivity: This is one of the initial symptoms of cavities. If the decay has exposed some tooth roots or worn out the enamel, then it causes an uncomfortable sensation while consuming hot and cold as well as sugary and acidic foods.
- Spots: Even though dark spots can indicate staining on teeth, they are also signs of dental cavities. The spots can either be black in color or brown. In the beginning, they look like tiny innocuous stains, which can develop into large visible holes if not treated on time.
- Toothache: When the decay advances to the nerves and roots, then it can cause toothache as well as pain in the gums. This happens when the decay penetrates the dentin and results in sharp pain.
- Abscesses or infections: If not treated on time, dental caries cause serious tooth infections and form abscesses in the gums. That leads to bad breath and weakens the gums.
- Fever: Fever is usually a sign that your body is fighting against an infection. If the decay becomes more severe, it leads to abscesses or infections and will cause fever.
Treatments for rotting teeth
Once dental cavities or decays are detected, they can be treated in several different ways depending on their size and severity. Here are four common treatments for rotting teeth.
- Root canal: A root canal treatment is needed when the infection has penetrated the pulp or root and formed abscesses. The procedure entails the draining of the abscesses, filling the spaces with dental fillings, and placing a crown.
- Tooth extraction: This is required when tooth decay has corroded most of the tooth, thereby leaving no room for repair or treatment. After extracting the rotten tooth, a person can get an artificial tooth such as an implant or a bridge.
- Dental fillings: These are useful when the decay hasn’t gone deep and the dentist uses fillings to fill up the cavity and strengthen the enamel.
- Fluoride treatments: These professional treatments are provided by dentists with the use of high-fluoride concentrated gels, rinses, foams, and varnishes. These treatments are extremely useful not only for treating cavities but also reinforcing the teeth and making the enamel stronger.
Ways to prevent rotting teeth
When it comes to preventing dental caries, there are many ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.
- Brush twice a day: Brushing for two minutes twice a day using fluoride toothpaste can keep dental cavities away. While selecting toothpaste, make sure that it has 1,350 to 1,500ppm of fluoride in it. Also, brush in a small circular motion by placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle on the teeth. Avoid over-brushing and don’t brush beyond the prescribed time limit.
- Floss once every night: Before going to bed, floss thoroughly using a traditional thread flosser or a water irrigator. Doing that will ensure that the gaps between the teeth are free from plaque.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleaning: Despite taking the best care of teeth, routine dental checkups and professional cleaning are extremely important in preventing cavities. Using sophisticated dental tools, dentists can detect dental caries and nip them in the bud.
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid sugary foods: A diet that’s filled with calcium-rich food is extremely beneficial for your teeth. Avoid frequent snacking on sugary and acidic foods. If you feel like having snacks, choose fresh fruits and vegetables such as carrots and celery.
- Quit smoking and limit alcoholic drinks: Cigarettes are the biggest nemesis of healthy teeth. If you have dental cavities and you smoke, then the problems will exacerbate. It’s also advisable to limit alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee, and energy drinks.
- Apply dental sealants: Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings applied on enamel—especially on the molars and premolars. They act as barriers and protect the chewing surfaces from acids and plaques and prevent teeth from decay.
- Keep your mouth well hydrated: Water is extremely beneficial for your teeth as it aids in the production of saliva and inhibits plaque buildup. A dry mouth is the breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Apart from that, drinking water contains fluoride, which is excellent for your teeth.
Tooth decay occurs when plaque deposits increase over time and it releases acids and bacteria, which corrode the teeth. That’s why it is extremely crucial to take good care of your teeth, brush and floss regularly, and schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleaning. Searching for a dentist in Roswell, GA? Consider TruCare Dentistry. Our location makes us extremely popular among residents of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Marietta, Milton, and Woodstock. If you stay in and around these areas, do drop by or contact us to schedule a visit.