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Tooth decay is a common problem that can affect someone of any age. However, it is most common in children and young adults.
Tooth decay occurs when acids form from bacteria in the mouth. When acids form, they begin to eat away at the tooth, causing decay. Here we will highlight the most common causes of tooth decay and how you can avoid them to keep your teeth healthy.
1. Poor Dental Hygiene
Daily brushing and flossing is essential to your dental hygiene, but it is also very important when it comes to preventing tooth decay. When you don’t brush your teeth, tartar builds up and begins to break down the enamel, causing cavities.
It is also important to have regular dental visits. Getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months will prevent tartar from building up and help keep your mouth healthy. Simply making sure to brush and floss correctly is the best way to prevent tooth decay and maintain a healthy mouth.
2. Poor Diet
Eating unhealthy isn’t just bad for your waistline, it is bad for your teeth too. Foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar breakdown the enamel more easily. Eating foods that are high in sugar can also make teeth more sensitive.
It is also important to keep in mind that many foods have hidden sugar and acids in them. Fruits have natural sugars in them and citrus have acids as well. It is important to regulate these foods to save the enamel on your teeth. Making sure you get enough calcium and limiting the sugar in your diet will help keep tooth decay at bay.
3. Dry Mouth
Saliva has natural components that help keep plaque from growing. Therefore, a dry mouth is never good for keeping teeth healthy and has several causes.
In older patients, this is commonly caused by prescription medications. Diabetes and obviously dehydration can cause dry mouth too.
Chewing gum, sucking on a hard candy, or sipping water often will typically be able to treat a mild dry mouth to keep the saliva flowing and doing its job to protect your teeth.
4. Tooth Crevices
Plaque often builds in crevices around your teeth that are harder to reach. This makes it very important to schedule regular dental cleanings because only a dentist can get rid all the plaque and make sure to clean your mouth in its entirety.
It is always a good idea to know where your problem places are. At your next dental visit, ask where plaque builds in your mouth. Your dentist should be able to show you where your problem spots are and help identify ways you can limit plaque to keep those spots clean and free of any decay.
5. Grinding Your Teeth
The hardest thing about people that grind their teeth, is that most are unaware they do it. Since it is usually done at night while they sleep, those that do it are oblivious to the damage they are causing.
Over time, the constant grinding wears down the enamel, exposing the dentin. Plaque breaks down dentin much more easily because it is much softer. Chips in the teeth can be a sign of grinding and the tops of teeth can become flat.
Stopping the decay is a matter of purchasing a mouth guard to wear at night. They can be quite inexpensive and it sure beats the extra dental work you will undoubtedly need. While this can be difficult to grow accustomed to, it is well worth saving your teeth from further damage.
The good thing is, with the technology we have today, tooth decay is not something you have to live with. A toothpaste with fluoride will help to break down the plaque in your mouth and stop tooth decay in its tracks.
Scheduling regular dental visits is the only way to get rid of plaque that has built up over time. When tooth decay has already begun, we can help get your mouth back in shape and restore your teeth to their natural form and function.
If you’re looking for a new dentist in Indianapolis, get in touch with Dr. Jerrold Goldsmith, DDS to schedule your appointment today!