Ever experienced a sharp pain in one of your teeth? You might just have a cavity, which is a result of tooth decay. If that’s the case, you need to take precautions to safeguard the rest of your teeth from succumbing to the same issue.
Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent dental issues people face worldwide. It can occur due to various reasons, but the lack of oral hygiene is the most common cause. If you keep ignoring a cavity, it will get bigger and might result in a severe toothache or tooth loss. Here’s a look at the causes and symptoms, treatments, and preventive measures you can take to stave off tooth decay.
What’s the real cause of tooth decay?
Plaque is a sticky film that forms a coating over your teeth and gums. It contains bacteria that feeds on the sugar present in the food and drink that you consume. This sugar is converted into numerous acids that damage enamel over a prolonged period, leading to the formation of cavities. If you don’t purge the remnants of sugary foods from your teeth, you increase your chances of suffering from tooth decay.
What are its symptoms?
The decaying process starts with the development of a white band on the surface of the tooth, close to the gum line. This proceeds to turn yellow, brown, and then black, which is a sign of enamel loss. Failure to notice this could cause the decay to intensify, leading to painful toothaches, swelling of the gums, and horrid breath. This is often accompanied by a stinging pain while eating hot or cold food. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist.
How is this dental complication treated?
The treatment depends on the severity of your condition. If the cavity is spotted in its early stages, it can be treated with fluoride-based toothpaste. However, if a cavity is well past its initial formation, your dentist might employ any of the following techniques:
- Root canal treatment: If the pulp or nerve tissue has been damaged, your dentist will remove the affected portion and seal your tooth with a filling, crown, or both, depending on the severity of the decay.
- Crown replacement: If the decay has taken over a large part of your tooth, it will be covered with a crown to prevent further harm.
- Tooth filling: If the cavity is minor, dentists will remove the decayed portion, and replace it with a filling, which is the same color as the tooth and made of composite material.
How can you prevent tooth decay?
Tooth decay can be easily prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene. Using a fluoride-based toothpaste is the best way to defend against tooth decay. Inculcate the habit of brushing at least twice a day—once in the morning and once before you go to bed. Floss at least once a day, to remove impurities that your toothbrush can’t reach. Avoid eating sugar-rich foods like chocolates, candy, and ice creams. If you have kids at home, keep an eye on their eating habits. Ensure that they follow a strict dental routine and brush their teeth properly.
People are often oblivious to the signs of tooth decay as they avoid regular dental checkups. So, just to be safe, schedule periodic appointments with your dentist. And if you’re in need of good dental treatments, you can schedule an appointment at Markham NS Dental Clinic.