Tooth decay, also known as a cavity, occurs when the enamel of your teeth softens and that leads to damage of the teeth structure. This happens when food particles containing carbohydrates and starches are left on your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth eat these food particles and turn them into acids which dissolve the enamel and create holes (cavities).
If they’re left untreated, they ultimately lead to a toothache, infections and tooth loss, so the moment you notice a cavity forming, make sure you visit your family dentist in Albuquerque for a check-up. Here we’ll share 9 causes of tooth decay so that you would know how to prevent it from happening.
If you don’t take proper care of your oral hygiene, more food will be stuck between your teeth and lead to damage. That’s why it’s important to properly clean your teeth by brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Make sure you brush for at least 2 minutes as well. If you’re having trouble brushing for so long, you can set a timer or listen to music while you do it. It’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth with a good fluoride-containing mouthwash after your oral hygiene routine as it kills bacteria and gives you a fresh breath.
Sugary foods are your teeth’s worst enemies because the bacteria in your mouth literally live off them and turns them to acids that break down your enamel. This can cause not only cavities but also built up plaque and gum disease. The process of bacteria eating sugars and turning them into acid is really quick, so that’s why Dr. Gallegos advises brushing your teeth after each meal. This way, you can eliminate acid and prevent tooth decay. Be aware that sugary foods don’t include only candy and chocolate. Alcohol and sodas, for example, are also high in sugar, so try to cut back on them as well.
To have good oral health, you need to nourish your body with all the essential minerals and vitamins it needs. This way your immune system will be strong and it will be able to fight infections. Lack of key nutrients may be the cause of gum disease, bad breath, and weak enamel too. So, make sure you include enough fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and fish in your diet for good dental and overall health.
If you suffer from tooth grinding, especially while you sleep at night, you should be aware of how harmful that is for your teeth. Many people have this condition and they do it without even realizing it. Most commonly, this occurs while sleeping or while being under stress. Tooth grinding is bad for your teeth because it strips away the outer layer of your tooth enamel. This way it becomes weaker and more susceptible to decay. If you have this condition, you need to protect your teeth and the right way to do so is by wearing a night guard. You can make an appointment with your dentist in Albuquerque for a custom-made night guard that will fit perfectly and protect your teeth.
Saliva is extremely important for the health of your teeth because it helps wash away bacteria and plaque that can break down your enamel. People that are prescribed certain medications or patients with medical conditions, such as diabetes, may suffer from a dry mouth. This leads to build up plaque and further tooth complications. If you have very little saliva, go to your family dentist in Albuquerque for a thorough check-up because, besides feeling uncomfortable, this is also bad for your teeth.
Consuming foods and drinks that are very acidic on daily basis damage your tooth enamel. Sugary foods are turned into acids from the bacteria in your mouth which causes tooth decay and acidic foods begin to damage your teeth almost immediately with their own acid. Try to avoid carbonated drinks such as soda as they’re very acidic and if you’re having a lemon water, make sure you drink it with a straw in order to protect your teeth from the acids.
Some people actually think that only children can get tooth decay. While many children do have cavities, people of all age can suffer from that as well. In fact, with the recession of gums at a later age, many people get gum disease, plaque, and cavities. Moreover, after taking different medications, you are more likely to have a dry mouth and that makes the risk of getting cavities higher.
Genetics also play a huge role in your dental health. Some people are just blessed with strong teeth that almost never get cavities even if they neglect their dental care. At the same time, other people who do everything to keep their teeth clean and strong, often get tooth decay and other dental problems. The truth is that, just as you inherit your parents’ traits and features, sometimes you also inherit their dental conditions. So if that is the case, just make sure you do anything you can to prevent any complications.
Last but not least, if you avoid the regular check-ups with your dentist, you are much more likely to get a dental complication like a tooth abscess, gingivitis or periodontitis. That could eventually lead to tooth loss and long, expensive treatments. So even if you think everything is okay with your teeth, you should go for a thorough examination and deep cleaning once every 6 months. Dr. Gallegos and his team will make you feel comfortable and answer all of your questions about your teeth and how to take care of them at home. They will also examine your mouth of any signs of cavities and will make sure any issue is treated as early as possible.
We hope you’ll make sure to do everything you can to protect your teeth and prevent tooth decay. Don’t postpone the professional help of your dentist either. If you’re among the people who are terrified of visiting a dentist, think about all the complications that can happen if you don’t treat a cavity in its earlier stage.
Remember that tooth decay doesn’t just go away on its own so you need to take charge of the situation. After all, not everything depends on your personal dental care, so trust your dentist with your smile for the ultimate protection and dental health.