8 things you should know about tooth decay

Tooth decay can be one of the most painful and inconvenient dental problem. It is often caused by habits that could have easily been avoided. Although tooth decay is common, most people are not equipped with the basic knowledge of this issue and as a result, are unable to completely avoid it.

Here are 8 facts you need to know about tooth decay:

Fact 1: Tooth decay is caused by acid-causing bacteria produced in your mouth. This is often a result of poor hygiene. The bacteria eat away at the protective layer of your teeth, resulting in tooth decay. Fact 2: Although the problem is not often spoken about, tooth decay is one of the most common issues which patients face in their lifetime. Tooth decay comes a close second after the common cold. Fact 3: Your risk of tooth decay can be determined by testing the bacterial content in your mouth. Fact 4: Fluoride, a common ingredient found in toothpaste, protects your teeth and enamel against acid-causing bacteria. A good tip is to avoid rinsing your mouth after you have brushed your teeth. In this way the fluoride will remain in your mouth until your next brush, protecting your teeth from harmful bacteria throughout the day. Fact 5: We always say that sugar is your mouth’s worst enemy and it also so happens to be the number one cause of tooth decay. Sugar, from the foods you eat and the substances you drink, creates the acid causing bacteria that sticks onto your teeth – slowly eating away at your enamel. It’s important to limit your sugar intake and drink a lot of water after consuming sugary substances. Fact 6: Contrary to popular belief, brushing right after eating does more harm than good and can also lead to tooth decay. We advise our patients to wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after eating or drinking something acidic. This is because your tooth enamel will be softened by the bacteria and which will make it easier to be stripped off while brushing. Rather, opt for rinsing with warm salt water. Fact 7: Brushing cleans about 60 percent of your mouth, while flossing targets the other 40 percent. It is extremely important to floss twice a day, the same as brushing your teeth! Fact 8: Visiting your dentist for a regular check-up and clean can help prevent a build up of bacteria. Your dentist will be able to see the problem areas you need to pay more attention too when you carry out your oral hygiene routine.

Symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Sudden toothaches
  • Increased tooth sensitivity when you eat or drink something hot or cold
  • Sharp pain when you eat
  • Holes in your teeth
  • Brown or yellow staining on your teeth
The damages resulting from tooth decaying can be irreversible if left untreated. Should you be experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, contact us today.