Aside from routine preventive checkups and cleanings, treating tooth decay is one of the most common reasons why people seek dental treatment. It’s also one of the most preventable oral health concerns, which can make you wonder why tooth decay remains such a common problem. The truth is that tooth decay is highly preventable, but it takes a level of consistency that not everyone can maintain, always. Today, we examine sone of the reasons why tooth decay can be a problem for nearly anyone, and how you can improve your daily hygiene and preventive routines to boost your chances of avoiding it.
What it means when a tooth starts decaying
Tooth decay isn’t just more common than you might realize; it’s also more diverse than many people understand. A tooth decays progressively, meaning it usually begins as a minor condition and grows worse over time. When oral bacteria accumulate excessively on your teeth surfaces, many of them can cause direct harm to them. They can produce acids by metabolizing sugars and other carbs that you consume, and secreting that acid across your teeth’s surfaces depletes them of minerals, making their protective enamel weak. When harmful bacteria come into contact with the tooth structure underneath the enamel, the infection they cause is known as tooth decay, and will infect more of your tooth structure the further it progresses.
Why don’t more people prevent it?
Given the natural way that tooth decay can develop, the most important way to prevent it is to keep your tooth enamel strong and healthy, and to prevent oral bacteria from weakening it too much. In theory, this is simple; brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once to prevent plaque buildup, and attend professional cleanings at least twice a year to keep tartar from remaining too long. However, the tiniest cracks in your hygiene routine, or snacking on sugary foods and beverages too often, can boost the processes that lead to tooth decay before you have a chance to prevent it.
What you can do to protect your teeth
If your tooth does become vulnerable to decay, then practicing excellent hygiene and being diligent about your dental care will offer you the best option at protecting your teeth from the damage it can cause. When caught and treated early, tooth decay can often be stopped at the early stage, before it has a chance to affect most of your tooth structure. With a tooth-colored filling, your dentist may be able to restore your tooth and save it from more severe decay.
Learn more about the problem of tooth decay
The things that lead to tooth decay are a common presence in your mouth, which is one reason why it’s such a common problem for people of all ages. To learn more, or to schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, today at 219-938-2637.