Tooth decay refers to the damage to tooth structure by dental plaque that turns sugars into an acid that slowly decays the teeth, according to the NHS.
While tooth decay may not initially cause pain or discomfort if left unchecked it can cause or compound other existing dental health issues. These issues may include gum disease, dental caries, or dental abscesses.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tooth Decay?
If tooth decay leads to dental caries or gingivitis - the first stage of gum disease - you might experience a range of symptoms, such as:
- Bright red or irritated gums
- Gums that bleed when you floss or brush
- Swollen gums
- Gums that are sensitive to the touch
If left unchecked, tooth decay can lead to extreme gum disease that then causes the teeth to loosen and the supportive structure of the mouth to deteriorate.
- Bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity, particularly when consuming sweet, cold, or hot foods or drinks
- Brown, black, or grey spots or marks on the teeth
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Toothache (can be dull or acute, constant or occasional)
Some Facts About Tooth Decay
Over 74 percent of adults in the United Kingdom have had teeth removed due to decay.
Teeth experience a lot of wear and tear. Every time you eat, plaque builds up on your teeth. Plaque is the sticky biofilm you feel after you’ve eaten but haven’t brushed your teeth yet. When it builds up it chemically interacts with the sugars in food. Plaque turns sugars into acid, which then can wear away at teeth, starting with the biting surfaces, but any part of your tooth is at risk.
Consuming vast quantities of sugar can also contribute to tooth decay. The more sugar you eat and drink and the less you brush, the more you’re at risk for tooth decay. Sugars can be hidden in processed foods and even energy drinks.
If caught early enough, tooth decay can be managed and treated effectively. However, if left unchecked, here are some of the issues it can cause or compound:
- Cavities or dental caries
- Severe abscesses
- Tooth loss
In short, it’s best to stay on top of your dental health. If you’re in Notting Hill, dentists in Notting Hill can help you solve your dental problems and advise you on schedules for dental check-ups and proper dental hygiene.
Preventing Tooth Decay: Simple Tips To Follow
It’s far better to stop problems before they start than to have to deal with painful dental conditions. Below are some dentist-recommended methods to help prevent tooth decay.
- Brush your teeth properly: use a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush at a 45-degree angle, and remember to get the sides and backs of your teeth. However, if you brush harshly, you risk damaging your gums, so be gentle.
- When you brush your teeth, try brushing for at least two minutes. Brush your teeth twice a day, once right before bed and once during the day, preferably after a meal.
- Floss at least once per day. Consider using an interdental tool, a Waterpik or dental tape.
- Reduce your sugar intake and brush your teeth immediately after consuming a sugary ingredient, or anything with an “ose” ending: sucrose, dextrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, or lactose.
- Visit your dentist regularly. They can provide you with deep-cleanings and X-ray your teeth to find hidden cavities or dental caries. Spotting problems early means less money and time spent in the dental chair.
As far as tooth decay is concerned, staying on top of dental hygiene and regular dental visits can save you a lot of discomfort, pain, effort and money.
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Westbourne Grove Dental is a forward thinking dental clinic in Notting Hill, London. The principal dentist, Dr. Sonia Ali’s main focus is restoring smiles and facial rejuvenation through a blend of facial aesthetics and cosmetic dental treatments.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.