Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates, like bread, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candy are left on the surfaces of the teeth.
Bacteria that thrive in the mouth digest these foods, converting them into acids.
The bacteria, acid, food particles, and saliva mix altogether to form plaque, which sticks to the teeth.
The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel of the teeth, creating holes in the teeth called cavities.
Causes of Tooth Decay
The main causes of tooth decay are sugary, sticky foods, and drinks. The more sugar consumed, the more acid gets produced, leading to tooth decay.
Sugar mixes with plaque to weaken the enamel leaving you at risk to tooth decay. Each time you eat sugary foods, your teeth are vulnerable to damage from the acids for the next 20 minutes.
It is important to understand what causes tooth decay to learn the proper way to care for your teeth and health.
Cavity and tooth decay factors to watch out for:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Plaque formation
- Dry mouth
- Eating and drinking
- Bacteria and acid
- Medical problems
Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay
As tooth decay develops, symptoms of cavity start to appear. If you notice any of these common symptoms, see your dentist right away.
The earlier symptoms are determined, the quicker and easier the cavity treatment will be. Monitor your teeth, and stay alert for these symptoms:
Pain: Toothache is one of the most common tooth decay signs.
Pressure: Both increased tooth sensitivity and pain when biting and chewing can indicate a cavity.
Pits: Symptoms may also include an obvious hole or pit in the affected tooth. Sometimes the holes are only visible under a dental X-ray.
Pus: One of the more serious and evident cavity symptoms is pus around a tooth.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
To prevent tooth decay:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride-containing toothpaste
- Floss between your teeth daily.
- Rinse daily with a fluoride-containing mouthwash.
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet and limit snacks.
- Consult with your dentist about the use of supplemental fluoride that helps strengthen your teeth.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars to protect them from decay.
- Drink plenty of fluoridated water.
- Visit your Bondi dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exam.
Tooth Decay Management at Bondi Dental
If you or your loved one experiences pain that shows symptoms of tooth decay, visit your Bondi dentist immediately.
We are located at 134 Curlewis St in Bondi Beach.