The best thing about tooth decay is that it’s entirely preventable. Tooth decay happens when plaque in your teeth comes in contact with sugar and produces acid. This acid attacks your tooth enamel and can lead to tooth decay. If not treated quickly, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. Those with tooth decay will first experience a toothache. Then, swelling will appear in your gums near sore teeth. Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth is another sign that acid is corroding your tooth enamel.
Regularly brushing your teeth, flossing and visiting the dentist can help prevent tooth decay. If you already have a toothache, visit a dentist as soon as possible. Although full dental treatment depends on the severity of the decay, Dr. Straus and his team will help restore your smile. A visit every six months will help you avoid severe tooth decay because we will catch it in its early stages and give you a fluoride toothpaste to begin treating your mouth. If the decay has already eaten through the enamel, you may need a filling, crown, root canal, or tooth extraction. Our cutting-edge dental equipment enables us to provide a variety of dental services such as sedation treatment, laser dentistry, and dental implants. To schedule an appointment today, call 804-741-4177.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay results from not brushing or flossing regularly and neglecting to visit a dentist every six months. Also, consuming foods and drinks that are high in sugar causes bacteria in the mouth to grow and create plaque. Excessive smoking and drinking can inhibit saliva production in the mouth, inhibiting the body from naturally removoing acid producing bacteria.
Foods and drinks that are high in sugar increase the risk of tooth decay. Hard candies such as caramels, jawbreakers and Jolly Ranchers dissolve into sugar that doesn’t easily wash away. Sugar that stays in the mouth for an extended period of time will increase the rate of tooth decay. Plaque is the sticky substance that is constantly forming on the teeth. It contains bacteria that feed on sugar and release an acid that eats through enamel. Lowering sugar intake decreases the amount of acid those bacteria produce and leads to cleaner, healthier teeth.
How to Lower the Risk of Tooth Decay
Brushing and flossing daily and regularly visiting your dentist will prevent most tooth decay. Also, avoiding food and drinks that are high in sugar will allow you to quell the acid-producing bacteria in your mouth. Don’t snack before bedtime, and eat fiber-rich foods and vegetables that generate saliva flow. Even chewing sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol 20 minutes after a meal will help prevent tooth decay, though it is no substitute for brushing and flossing.
Call Today to Prevent Tooth Decay
For over 25 years, Dr. Straus and his team have helped families in and around Richmond fight tooth decay. To schedule an appointment, call 804-741-4177 or fill out our online