Every year, millions of Americans find themselves in a dentist chair, preparing for a painful and expensive treatment that tooth decay causes. Sadly, this is a common occurrence and one that is often preventable. How does tooth decay develop? And what can you do to treat or prevent it? Thankfully, at Lovett Dental Beaumont, we know the answers to many of these questions.
How Does Tooth Decay Develop?
Tooth decay actually occurs when your tooth enamel, which is the protective layer that surrounds your teeth, breaks down. This results in a proliferation of decay on your teeth. There are roughly six stages of decay, and they range from white spots on your teeth (the least severe stage) to the formation of abscesses in your teeth (the most severe stage).
Tooth decay develops through a combination of factors. One of the most important factors is what you usually think of when you think of teeth problems: what you eat. Foods that are high in sugars and starchy substances, like soda and sweets, are prime culprits of tooth decay. When these foods are not removed from your teeth, bacteria in your mouth will turn these substances into acidic forms that can damage your teeth and the enamel on them. Ultimately, this damages your teeth and leads to the creation of cavities.
Is It Preventable?
There is no question that you can do quite a bit to prevent tooth decay. Tooth decay is one of the primary reasons that proper teeth cleaning is so important. Regular visits to a dentist can help to prevent tooth decay and address other teeth and mouth problems before they start.
However, dental visits are not the only part of preventing tooth decay. They are only one component. You can prevent tooth decay at home by engaging in some relatively easy-to-maintain habits. Additionally, regular brushing and flossing are extremely important.
According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Make sure you brush your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride. Furthermore, you should floss at least once a day. Last, make sure you watch what you eat. While almost everyone enjoys a periodic snack, these can be damaging for your health, and you should try to limit your sugar intake.
What Happens if Tooth Decay Goes Untreated?
Ultimately, if decay is severe enough and left untreated, teeth will rot and fall out of your mouth. This can cause mouth infections, extreme pain, and the need for thousands of dollars in dental and cosmetic dentistry.
Unfortunately, you can suffer some very real health challenges if you do not properly address your tooth decay issues. Long-term consequences can be significant, and they can extend well beyond potential issues to your mouth. Tooth decay increases the risk of infection and can potentially increase your risk for heart disease. The odds of additional and significant complications increase if you suffer from other disorders like autoimmune disease or diabetes.
As you can see, tooth decay can be an extraordinarily painful disease to suffer from. Additionally, it can also have devastating effects on your health. Fortunately, high-quality dental professionals like our staff at Lovett Dental can do a great deal to help you prevent tooth decay and ensure that you have the proper advice to take care of your mouth and gums. Remember to go to a reliable and professional general dentistry. You deserve someone with experience in treating a wide array of dental disorders. Contact us at 409-924-8100 today, or check out Lovett Dental Beaumont to learn more about how we can help you address tooth decay.