Are you having pain in your tooth? Have you been told that you have a cavity? This could mean that you are in the early stages of tooth decay and if something is not done about it right away, it could lead to other health problems and loss of teeth. It usually happens when the natural bacteria in the mouth produces extra acid that eat a tooth away.
Tooth decay is usually caused by food that is left in the mouth for long periods of time combined with bacteria that creates the plaque that builds up on the teeth. These bacteria eat the sugars that form on the teeth and leave acid behind which works on the teeth for 20 minutes at a time. Over time, the acid eats the enamel on your tooth, which then results in decay.
There are several ways that tooth decay occurs:
• Not brushing your teeth as often as you should,
• Not flossing your teeth daily,
• Eating food with too much sugar,
• Not having enough fluoride in the water supply, and
• Not getting proper dental care.
Decay on the tooth can be passed onto the baby if you share a spoon or lick the baby’s pacifier so try not to do those things either.
In order to treat tooth decay your dentist will usually suggest that you brush more regularly, usually recommended twice a day or each time you eat, with toothpaste that has fluoride in it, flossing daily, and reducing the amount of sugar that you eat. How it is treated depends on how bad the decay is and what kind it is.
If the tooth is too far decayed, your dentist will usually recommend that you have a filling put in so that the hole can be closed and no more damage can be done. Sometimes he will also recommend a crown be put on if the decay is so bad that your tooth has broken. If the decay goes below the enamel, you may need a root canal to repair the damage that has been done to the pulp. If your tooth is damaged beyond repair, then your dentist may have to pull it out and replace it with an implant.
Because getting good dental care is the best way to avoid tooth decay, be sure to mention any fears and emotional anxiety to your dentist as he usually has a form of remedy for those feelings.