Tooth decay is a serious issue that affects most populations, particularly the elderly and younger children. It is marked by the degradation or loss of teeth due to bacterial action and physical agitation. According to several dental centers in the US, one of every two adults above age 65 suffers from tooth decay. Although young people are also affected by this condition, most cases are prevalent among older adults.
1. Toothache and Tooth Sensitivity
Toothache is a sign of inflammation or infection in the pulp, which is your tooth’s soft inner core. It can be a warning sign of tooth decay, especially if you notice it during or after eating certain foods.
Tooth sensitivity is the discomfort that occurs when hot or cold substances come into contact with a tooth. It can result in sharp pain and become more pronounced when eating cold foods like ice cream or drinking cold water. The problem often resolves itself on its own but can be a sign of tooth decay or tooth damage.
2. Visible Holes or Pits in Your Teeth
Visible holes or pits in your teeth usually indicate that a tooth has been attacked by bacteria and is decayed. These tiny holes may be difficult to detect without using a mirror. Decay has probably spread beyond the tooth’s visible part when you have more than one hole. Teeth with pits or holes visible to the naked eye constitute a severe cavity.
3. Brown, Black or White Staining on Your Teeth
This is a general indicator of potential tooth decay. Though it’s difficult to see with the naked eye, any surface of your teeth may have staining on it. This is due to either pocket of bacteria (resulting from poor dental hygiene or deep decay) or the removal of most of the outer tooth structure during therapeutic work.
4. Pain When You Bite Down
If you experience pain or discomfort when you bite down, it could signify tooth decay. This can happen if food particles get stuck between your teeth and gums, making it hard to clean them properly. It can break through the outer layer of enamel and reveal a softer inner layer beneath. Pain may occur if this softer layer is exposed and comes into contact with food. The area may also be sensitive to heat or cold because nerve endings are exposed, causing numbness and discomfort.
Prevention of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a common problem that becomes a mild annoyance and can become a harrowing experience if not dealt with right away.
1. Brush Your Teeth With Fluoride Toothpaste After Eating or Drinking
After eating or drinking proteins, sugars, and carbohydrates, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a safe ingredient that helps protect the enamel of your teeth from decay-causing acids, making it essential to use toothpaste with this ingredient.
2. Rinse Your Mouth
Rinse your mouth with water after eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. This shall help keep your mouth clean and prevent tooth decay.
3. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
It’s essential to visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist shall check for signs of tooth decay, oral cancer, and other conditions when you do. Together with your dentist at a trusted place like Brand New Smile Dental Impact Center, come up with a plan for caring for your teeth at home, from brushing and flossing correctly to taking good care of dental appliances like dentures or retainers.
4. Avoid Frequent Snacking and Sipping
Bacteria in your mouth create acid that can cause tooth decay. By reducing the amount of time at risk for tooth decay and the food available for bacterial growth, you can help prevent decay.
Treatment of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay causes inflammation and tissue death of a tooth. It can progress to cavities and ultimately tooth loss if left untreated. This article will discuss the signs, prevention, signs, symptoms, and treatment of tooth decay.
1. Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is the most effective ingredient for preventing tooth decay. If you are concerned about cavities but cannot afford the therapies recommended by your dentist, an economical alternative is to clean and whiten your teeth at home daily. Fluoride is an essential mineral that helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and prevents new cavities from forming around the weakened areas.
Fillings are used to repair cavities that have not been cared for. Fillings restore the lost structure of the tooth and help prevent further decay. Fillings may be placed at the time of a simple cavity, or if you have a toothache caused by a cavity, we may need to remove the decay and perform a root canal before placing a filling.
A crown is a particular type of dental restoration used to protect teeth and help restore their shape, size, and strength. Crowns are caps placed over the original tooth. They can be made of porcelain, gold, or various other materials. A crowned tooth is much stronger than an untreated one. Crowns can prevent further damage to your natural tooth and possibly save it from needing root canal therapy.
4. Root Canals
A root canal is a treatment that can save a tooth when the pulp tissue (which contains blood vessels and nerves) within the tooth becomes infected or dies from some other cause. Treatment consists of removing all infections inside the tooth, cleaning its outer surface, filling the empty root canal(s), and finally placing a dental crown on top of it.
5. Tooth Extractions
Tooth extraction denotes the removal of a tooth or teeth that are no longer healthy and have become dangerously decayed. It is often the best treatment option if you have had a tooth that has broken off below the gum line or if there is significant damage to your jaw caused by trauma or decay.
A toothache can be a devastating and often excruciating experience that leaves you feeling helpless until the pain subsides. The first step to avoiding such an unfortunate experience is prevention. This preemptive measure could be between successfully treating tooth decay early or undergoing costly and painful dental treatments.