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Your teeth are the most underappreciated part of your body. If you don’t give them proper care, there is a very good chance that you will develop severe dental problems, the most common being tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused when the bacteria that are present in your mouth churn out more acid than is necessary, gradually eroding the teeth. The acids bore a hole in the tooth, causing cavity.
You might be suffering from tooth decay if you experience:
- Teeth discoloration
- Tooth infection
- Tooth loss
Causes of tooth decay
Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria that reside in your mouth start producing excessive acids which eventually erode the tooth.
How does it happen?
Your teeth have three protective layers: an outer layer called enamel, middle layer called dentin and an inner layer called pulp. The bacteria in the mouth along with acid and broken down food particles attack the tooth and erode it layer by layer. Tooth decay worsens as each layer is eroded.
Here are some common causes behind tooth decay:
- Poor oral hygiene i.e. not brushing or flossing your teeth regularly
- Eating foods that help bacteria grow, such as sugary foods and foods rich in carbohydrates
- Dry mouth refers to very little saliva in your mouth. Saliva helps countering the effects of the acids
How to prevent tooth decay
Most cases of tooth decay can be prevented by a healthy oral hygiene regime and having a balanced diet. Here are some steps you can take to prevent tooth decay:
- Regularly brush your teeth. Brush your teeth after each meal and especially before you go to sleep. Using a fluoride-rich toothpaste will help keep tooth decay at bay.
- The space between your teeth is where food particles get lodged. Keep them clean by flossing regularly.
- Make balanced diet a part of your life. Avoid food high on sugar or carbohydrates. Also, avoid eating too much sticky food, as it is more likely to cling to your teeth than anything else.
- Mouthwash regularly using a solution rich in fluoride. Fluoride has antiseptic properties that help kill the bacteria,
- Lastly, visit your dentist regularly for checkups
Tooth decay is one of the most common lifestyle-based problems. The right combination of dental hygiene and a balanced diet goes a long way in preventing it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dentist.