We all want a healthy smile. To keep your teeth looking great, it’s vital you take good care of them and avoid the causes of tooth decay.
We all know tooth decay causes problems, but what exactly does it do to our oral health?
Let’s lift the lid on the causes of tooth decay, what happens if it’s ignored, and how you can prevent it.
The biggest risk to oral health is tooth decay and gum disease. Both of these conditions are caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth.
Your mouth contains numerous types of bacteria, some good and some bad. Regardless of the type, bacteria are naturally-occurring and are always there. No matter how much you brush, floss, or rinse your teeth, these bacteria still exist.
Keeping your mouth healthy ensures you’re doing everything possible to keep these bacteria in check. You can do this through diet and oral hygiene.
When these bad bacteria feed on starches and sugars in your diet, it creates acid that erodes your teeth. A sticky film called plaque can develop around your teeth and gums. Plaque is made up of a mixture of bacteria and food particles.
Plaque gradually hardens when it’s not removed; this becomes tartar which is difficult to remove and gradually erodes the surface of your tooth.
Eventually, through acid erosion, the hard enamel surface of your tooth develops a hole. We refer to this decay as dental cavities or caries.
Often, we can see the warning signs that you will develop a cavity ahead of time. If you’re coming to see us for regular checkups, we’ll often spot weaknesses in your tooth’s enamel and can help you keep your tooth healthy.
When cavities emerge, they bring sensitivity and pain. You may initially find that anything too hot or cold or even particularly sweet causes your teeth to twinge. Eventually, this sensitivity is replaced by toothache.
The earlier we treat a cavity, the better. We’ll usually do this with fillings. This simple procedure prevents bacteria from penetrating deeper into your tooth.
Over time, untreated tooth decay allows bacteria to infect the living inner cells called the dental pulp. The dental pulp is found in the tooth’s centre and the root canals that spread below into the jaw bone. The infection causes severe pain and inflammation.
To preserve your tooth, we’ll need to perform a root canal treatment that removes bacteria and infected dental pulp.
Although the pain of an infected root canal is unbearable, some people may still ignore it and avoid treatment. But contrary to expectations, root canal treatment is a straightforward procedure that alleviates pain rather than causing it.
Without a root canal treatment, the tooth will eventually die, and an abscess may form beneath it. The infection will then spread to other areas of the mouth and may enter the bloodstream posing a risk to the heart.
Despite the dire consequences of tooth decay, avoiding it is relatively easy. The first thing to consider is your oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. Ensure you’re brushing the front, top, and back of each tooth, paying attention to the areas between them.
Use a soft toothbrush. Flouride toothpaste strengthens enamel making it harder for bacteria to cause damage. You should also consider flossing to remove trapped food debris and using mouthwash to fight bacteria.
The next thing you need to think about is your diet. Avoid sugary food and drinks, and if you enjoy the occasional sweet treat, try to brush your teeth immediately after.
Lastly, call and see us for a check-up twice a year to get ahead of any potential problems.
If it’s been a while since you’ve seen us, or you’re due a routine checkup, call us today and schedule your appointment. Together we’ll keep tooth decay at bay.Back to Blog
“A very positive experience - I was a nervous patient in a lot of pain and the dentist put me at my…”
“Excellent dental clinic - lovely surroundings and staff are friendly and professional, always a pleasure to visit. Very happy with the work…”
“Lovely dentist with lovely staff”
“Really pleased with my experience at Harley Private Dental - a very professional and friendly service - in beautiful surroundings. Makes going…”
“Complete smile transformation that looks completely natural. Couldn’t be happier with the end result and the process to get here was enjoyable.…”
“I highly recommend Harley private dental very satisfied customer well worth the visit”
“Great service, made the experience positive one, had Invisalign treatment, was fast, efficient and always friendly. Would recommend. Fantastic results.”
“GRATEFULNESS to you for being so very humble during my check up routine I’m happy knowing you are knowledgeable and being an…”
“I can’t rate the guys at Harley highly enough. I received a highly professional service delivered with care and my best interests…”
“I had an amazing experience at this dental clinic. The staff were friendly and welcoming. The dentist I saw was extremely knowledgeable…”
“Great service, warm and welcoming staff. One of the best experiences I have ever had with dental care, guaranteed to leave with…”
“I had a great experience at this practice. My dentist Ehsan was absolutely brilliant. Reasonable prices as well. Overall service - top…”
“Fantastic Experience. Get the perfect bright sparkling smile & see the light it brings to your life! Must Visit, Amazing staff and…”
“Had my first checkup today, impressed with the service. Will definitely be returning here.”
“The staff are amazing and the service is second to non. I have seen the hygienist who was very attentive and very…”