6 Facts About Tooth Decay You Should Be Aware Of
Tooth decay, also known as cavities or caries, is a hole in the tooth enamel. It is important to understand that tooth decay can affect everyone regardless of age. That’s why it is essential to learn information about this condition. In this article, we have gathered six facts about tooth decay you should be aware of.
1. Tooth decay is extremely common
Tooth decay is the second most common health issue after the common cold. Many people think that tooth decay affects only children. Indeed, children are more prone to tooth decay because they generally don't maintain proper oral hygiene and eat a lot of sugar. But as mentioned above, it affects both children and adults.
People who don’t brush and floss their teeth properly, usually have an increased risk of tooth decay. In addition, regular dental check-ups can help identify developing cavities and treat them until they cause serious complications.
2. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria
There is a common misconception that tooth decay is caused by sugar. Indeed, increased consumption of sweets promotes the development of tooth decay but sugar can’t eat away your tooth enamel. But bacteria that multiply actively in the sweet environment produce acids that soffit and wear out your tooth enamel. This leads to the development of a hole in the tooth.
3. Poor oral hygiene contributes to tooth decay
As mentioned above, tooth decay is caused by bacteria. These bacteria inhabit your oral cavity and feed on sugar, dental plaque, and food particles, that remain in your mouth. That’s why it is extremely important to maintain proper oral hygiene.
If you want to avoid tooth decay, you need to brush your teeth twice a day for 2-3 minutes. Additionally, you need to use dental floss since food particles can get stuck between your teeth and a toothbrush doesn’t always remove them all.
4. Tooth decay can develop asymptomatically
It is important to understand that tooth decay doesn’t always cause pain, especially if it affects only the upper layers of your teeth. Tooth enamel and dentist don’t contain blood vessels and nerve endings, so you may even not know that you have a cavity. That’s why it is better to visit a dental office twice a year for examination and treatment if needed.
5. Tooth decay can destroy the whole tooth
Many people think that tooth decay is not a dangerous problem. But the reality is that this condition can lead to the development of severe complications. For example, if tooth decay reaches the roots of the tooth, you may need to undergo a root canal procedure to save the tooth. In some cases, a tooth can be extracted if there is no reason to save it.
You should also know that tooth decay can increase your risk of dental abscess. This condition occurs when infection penetrates the tooth and leads to the development of a sac with pous. Without timely and proper treatment, this sac can burst and the pus may spread to your neck, jaw, or brain.
6. Tooth decay should be treated by a dentist
Even though there are home remedies and painkillers that can help cope with toothache caused by tooth decay, they can’t treat the underlying cause of your pain. If you already have a cavity, you should understand that it can be treated by a dentist. The point is that a dentist should remove the decayed tissue and fill the tooth to restore its damaged parts. That’s why you need to visit the dentist for timely and proper treatment.
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