A beautiful and healthy smile not only boosts your self esteem and confidence, but good dental health is also necessary for proper digestion and chewing, as well as talking, laughing and other everyday functions. Keeping your mouth healthy is extremely important when it comes to simple, routine activities, and avoiding tooth decay is the first step to a healthier smile. Understanding what tooth decay is, as well as the causes, areas of risk, and tips for prevention, can help you improve your smile and dental health.
What Is Tooth Decay?:
Second only to the common cold, tooth decay is a frequent ailment that many people face, yet very few notice until it is too late. Oral bacteria and germs work to convert food's sugars and starches to acids, which combine with saliva and food bits to create a sticky film over the teeth. The film can stick to teeth and cause long-term, serious damage. Tooth decay that is not cared for properly can lead to more serious dental conditions, including gum disease and, in some extreme cases, tooth loss.
Causes of Tooth Decay:
The film that covers the teeth is referred to as plaque, which is one of the primary causes of tooth decay. Plaque is colorless and sticky, harboring bacteria and irritating gums, and can even cause pain and infect the roots of the tooth. You can experience a buildup of plaque within the mouth if you fail to brush and floss on an everyday basis, allowing food particles to build up between teeth and along the gumline. Eating certain types of food more frequently than others can also cause tooth decay, such as constantly eating sweet, sticky foods and causing acids to continually attack the teeth.
Areas of Risk:
While the entire mouth can be susceptible to tooth decay, the back of the mouth tends to be especially difficult to prevent tooth decay, as it's hard to reach and allows germs to hide more easily. Rough and uneven teeth capture bits of food and keep them there for long periods of time. When cleaning your teeth, be sure to pay special attention to the back of your mouth.
Preventing Tooth Decay:
Although tooth decay can be extremely serious, it is also very easy to prevent. A nutritional diet plays a major role in preventing tooth decay. Avoid eating sticky, sugary foods too often, and cut down on snacking throughout the day. Proper oral hygiene consists of brushing and flossing twice a day. Regular visits to the dentist for professional cleaning and checkups can also help prevent tooth decay.