Understanding How to Avoid Tooth Decay

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When people mention common diseases that have been around forever, few mention tooth decay among them. Though not life-threatening, cavities in your teeth can lead to serious quality of life issues among other problems. If you can imagine life without several teeth (and the expense involved in trying to repair them), then you’ll see why dental health is so important. The main struggle involves protecting yourself against tooth decay.

Tooth Decay: The Basics

Dental caries (otherwise known as decay) is the process through which the structure of your teeth is compromised. Decay creates erosion within your teeth – the holes known as cavities. When you ignore the earliest signs of caries, you will find spaces developing where the enamel has eroded. If left untreated, you will be forced to have a crown replacing a larger part of missing tooth and, if still ignored, you will lose the tooth entirely. The gravest danger occurs when lost teeth remain ignored. If infection spreads from the gums through the interior of the facial area, death may result. It is the worst possible scenario, but it is possible. It speaks to the importance of good oral health.

Problems with Young and Old

Your teeth are extremely vulnerable when they first appear in your mouth and become a major problem next later on in life, when they have spent so long inside your mouth. Teaching children how to care for teeth is essential as you try to help them avoid decay and caries. Diets containing minimal sugary foods are beneficial to oral health. Oral hygiene is the way to clean your teeth and prevent cavities, so practicing the basics – brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash twice a day – helps you stop decay in its tracks. It is your best weapon after dietary habits.

Learning about the Role of Saliva

While food and drink continually come up in the conversation about dental habits, it is easy to forget about saliva. Saliva works as a balancing agent that controls acid and bacteria in the mouth. Drinking water after meals and chewing sugar-free gum helps slow the process of tooth decay because it helps the saliva levels increase. If you find yourself dehydrated often, remember it could have an effect on your dental health as well as other areas of general health.

Asking Professionals for Help

While most people know what it means to eat properly and practice good dental hygiene, fewer know about acid-producing bacteria, another key ingredient for caries. Your dentist can help advise you on the process of limiting the amount of these bacteria in your mouth. Once you have the facts and are diligent about keeping your dental health sound, you’re going to see a high success rate in the fight against tooth decay.