What Causes Tooth Decay?
Toothaches are some of the worst pains you can experience. This intense physical discomfort is usually due to tooth decay. When teeth rot, infection takes place as well, causing great sensitivity as well as swelling.
Suffice it to say, in order to prevent toothaches, it’s important to prevent tooth decay. To do that properly, you must know what causes dental decay.
Proper Oral Health
Decay happens when bacteria and food interact and create plaque that builds up along the base of the teeth or the gum line. Plaque releases acids that attack and weaken tooth enamel, and this starts the decaying process.
You’re greatly prone to tooth decay if you’re not particular with oral health — if you don’t brush and floss regularly in order to rid your mouth of harmful bacteria and acids that attack your teeth’s enamel. Also, if you don’t visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning (oral prophylaxis), you make yourself susceptible to tooth decay.
How Your Diet Affects Your Teeth
Dentists also say that a poor diet (one that is high in sugar and carbohydrates) can lead to tooth decay. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth and this results in the formation of plaque, especially if you don’t brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly.
Another factor that contributes to tooth decay is dryness of the mouth. If you don’t drink a lot of water and you also don’t produce enough saliva to help wash away food and acids, bacteria can work double time in attacking or damaging your teeth. This is why dentists strongly recommend chewing sugarless gum, particularly after meals, because this stimulates healthy saliva production.
An Unhealthy Lifestyle
It’s important to mention as well that an unhealthy lifestyle can speed up tooth decay. Smoking, specifically, is bad for the teeth because this dries the mouth and encourages the proliferation of teeth-damaging bacteria. Likewise, smoking has chemical components that damage teeth in other ways, and they affect the gums, too. Drinking alcoholic beverages frequently, on the other hand, can also promote tooth decay; they are not only loaded with sugar, but can also dehydrate the mouth.
And lastly, health woes like diabetes and cancer are known to increase the risk of tooth decay. A weakened immune system, the inability to properly perform oral care activities, and the strong medicine consumed for managing these health woes can all damage teeth.
Tooth decay is easy enough to prevent; all you need to do is heed the advice of your Prescott dentist on how to go about oral care and other health practices that will strengthen your teeth.