What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a disruption of your tooth surface. Usually, that happens because of bacteria.

What causes tooth decay?

There are many reasons for dental decay. One is not brushing your teeth properly, also not flossing your mouth, eating a lot of sugary foods, and drinking a lot of sugary drinks.

What are the early stages of tooth decay?

In the early stages, tooth decay may not have any signs, but there may be a white shadow there, and later it becomes a dark shadow. Once it goes more into your tooth structure, you may start feeling sensitivity, pain, and sometimes an abscess and fever.

What are the effects of tooth decay?

The effects of tooth decay can be destruction of your tooth structure and pain, sometimes fever and abscess, facial swelling. Tooth decay can lead to other complications because the bacteria growing in your mouth can go into the bloodstream. Research has shown that this bacteria has a direct correlation with having heart attacks and diabetes.

Can tooth decay return to normal?

Tooth decay can return to normal only at the early stages. However, when it goes more into your tooth structure, you need to have a filling. Tooth decay is irreversible once it goes into more inert structures of your tooth, like the dentine and the pulp.

How is tooth decay treated?

Treatment of tooth decay depends on how deep the decay is. For example, if it's only in the outer surface of the tooth, which is the enamel, fluoride treatment will be enough. However, when it's more into your tooth, you may need a filling, and if the decay is very deep, you may need a root canal.

How can tooth decay be prevented?

You can stop tooth decay by brushing your teeth properly, maintaining good oral hygiene, and also not missing your dental checkups.

Is tooth decay painful?

Tooth decay can be painful when the decay goes into more inert structures of your tooth, especially the pulp, because the pulp has all the blood vessels and nerves.

What should I do if I think I have tooth decay?

If you feel that you have tooth decay, you should see your dentist as soon as possible.

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Maintaining your oral health is a life-long commitment as you grow older, it becomes even more important to keep an eye on what you’re eating. You don’t have to look at the ingredients section of everything that you have in your diet. However, it never hurts to cut back on certain foods that can cause more harm to your teeth, for example- cause cavity. So, that’s why we wanted to write a blog that discusses this topic. Which food encourages tooth decay and maybe it’s about time that you should control that sweet tooth of yours and make some healthy choices.

What causes cavity or tooth decay?

Well, from a scientific point of view, it’s bacteria and a combination of other oral factors that cause cavities in your tooth. These are permanently damaged areas on the hard surface of your teeth that develop into small holes or openings. Major factors that aid in the development of cavities include frequent snacking, drinking sugary drinks, harmful bacteria and most importantly, not cleaning your teeth well.

Food That Can Damage Your Teeth

If you’re still here reading this post, then consider having a look at the list:

  • Starchy snacky food: Food with cooked starches-particularly potato starches for example chips and crackers stick to your teeth more than other sugary foods like chocolate and candy. When this type of snack gets stuck to your teeth, it gives bacteria a longer period to produce acid and dissolve teeth.
  • Acidic food and beverages: Acidic food and beverages contribute largely towards tooth sensitivity, which in turn results in the breakdown of tooth enamel. If the enamel on your tooth starts dissolving, the nerve in your tooth slowly becomes exposed and eventually results in pain and discomfort. If your diet includes acidic food such as lemons, grapefruit juice, pickles and sports drinks, you might want to consider cutting down on them.
  • Sugary cereal and baked sweets: You might want to start your day with something sweet and while shopping for cereals, would pick up a pack of something sugary. Well, you should know that that bowl of sugary cereals can contribute to dental erosion and gum disease. The same goes for baked sweets such as doughnuts, as they have extra added sugar and refined carbs, which are not good for teeth.
  • Chewy food: Dried fruits. Taffy, caramel- what do they all have in common? Other than being delicious, they are very chewy and have a high concentration of sugar. This means the sugar would be in contact with your tooth for a longer amount of time giving the acid and cavity producing bacteria to proliferate more.
  • Alcohol: This section of food would always make this list because of its acidic nature. Not only that, but alcohol has oral-cancer promoting agents in it as well. Yes, we all like our glass of wine every now and then, but it’s better not to overdo it.

Bottom Line

We have made this list so you can be more conscious of maintaining your oral health. Other than avoiding food that causes damage to your teeth, visiting your dentist regularly can help you maintain your comprehensive oral hygiene routine.