Beware the Three Major Causes of Tooth Decay
Good day, Clearwater! It’s great to see you back here for another installment of Clearwater Dental Associates’ blog, where we focus on the issues and concerns about modern dentistry and oral health care that affect and interest you the most.
Tooth decay is something that gives everyone cause for concern. Your teeth are so important to you that you dedicate a daily routine to cleaning and maintaining them, and you probably have done so for most of your life.
It makes sense that you would care so much for the state of your teeth. They do so much for you. It is a well established fact that a healthy set of teeth is essential for a balanced diet. And a bright and beautiful smile is a surefire confidence builder that everyone should use for effective interpersonal communication.
The importance of healthy teeth is why preventing tooth decay is the number one concern of anyone who takes their oral health seriously. Brushing and flossing your teeth a couple of times a day is a great way to keep the cavities away, but in order to truly defend yourself against tooth decay, you must know what causes it.
Although sugar gets nearly all the credit for tooth decay, the true culprit is bacteria called dental caries. This bacteria takes up residence in your mouth when you are still very young. Most people get it from a family member. Once you have dental caries, it will always be there, but it is not hard to keep it from ruining your teeth. A regular oral hygiene routine and sensible diet that goes easy on the sugar will usually be enough to keep dental caries at bay and your teeth in good shape.
Sugar may not be the main cause of tooth decay, but it definitely plays its part. The cavity causing bacteria known as dental caries feed on sugar, converting it into an acid that is extremely corrosive to your tooth enamel.
Tooth decay begins as this acid eats away at your enamel, at first causing a cavity. If the decay is not treated, the dental caries will produce more acid, which will continue to eat away at your enamel. Eventually, the decay will make it all the way to the center of your tooth. where it will cause an infection in your soft pulp. This part of your tooth contains lots of tiny blood vessels and nerve endings. So, the infection can be very painful and spread throughout your mouth.
For this reason, once you experience tooth decay once, and especially if you lose a tooth to it, you are more likely to deal with it again.
The third player in this scenario is food acid. Food that has a high acid content will weaken your enamel, making it all the more easy for the dental caries and sugar to do their damage.
Another problem with food acid is that it makes it dangerous to brush right after a meal. Your enamel becomes soft after eating, so brushing right away can strip the enamel and damage your teeth.
Healthy Oral Hygiene Will Save Your Smile
The best way to fight the effects of dental caries is to practice basic dental care, like brushing and flossing, and to drink plenty of water.
Of course, regular visits to Clearwater Dental Associates will allow us to help you keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.