6 Facts About Tooth Decay That You Should Know About


Tooth decay (cavities or caries) is a hole in the tooth. It occurs when the acids created by bacteria weaken and wear down your tooth enamel, resulting in the formation of a cavity. Despite being one of the most frequent health concerns affecting individuals globally, there are many misunderstandings concerning this ailment. However, you should be aware that tooth decay is a significant problem that can lead to major issues. Here is a list of six facts about tooth decay that you should know about.

1. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria

Over 700 distinct bacterial species live in the mouth, some of which preserve teeth and gums, others aid in digestion, while yet others are completely harmless. Only a handful of these microorganisms have been associated with cavity development.

Streptococcus mutans is the most widespread pathogen that causes damage to the mouth. When enough food particles accumulate, the streptococcus mutans bacterium produces an acid that eats away at your enamel, making the tooth vulnerable to decay.

2. Cavities are extremely common

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research, tooth decay (dental caries) is the most frequent chronic condition in both adults and children in the United States. It is second only to the common cold. 92 percent of adults aged 20 to 64 suffer dental decay. Children aged 2-11 have a 42 percent incidence, while teenagers aged 12-19 have a 59 percent incidence of dental decay in their permanent teeth.

3. Sugar can increase your risk of tooth decay

Consuming sugary snacks and drinks on a regular basis might raise the risk of decay since your teeth are constantly attacked and do not have time to heal. Sugar consumption should be limited to help prevent tooth decay. Sugars in other foods should be limited to fewer than 50 grams per day (approximately ten tablespoons). A can of soda may contain six teaspoons or more sugar.

4. Untreated cavities can cause severe complications

Untreated tooth decay has been associated with discomfort and infections, which can make it difficult to eat, speak, work, and go about your everyday activities. Moreover, several studies suggest a link between untreated dental decay and heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and other life-threatening disorders.

If tooth decay is not severe, your dentist can treat it with the help of dental filling. But if the cavity reaches the roots, you may need to undergo a root canal procedure to save the tooth. In any case, timely treatment of tooth decay can help prevent the development of severe complications.

5. Cavities can't disappear on their own

The most terrible aspect about cavities is their irreversibility. When a cavity develops on your tooth, it begins by decaying the enamel, then creates a hole in the tooth, which continues to expand as bacteria hides in the hole and is impossible to brush out. Once decay has occurred, the damage is irreversible and can only be repaired by a dentist visit. Your dentist can repair the damage by removing the infection and sealing the hole in your tooth with a filling.

6. Proper oral hygiene helps prevent cavities

The greatest way to avoid cavities is to prevent them. Using fluoridated toothpaste and water is an excellent strategy to prevent tooth decay. However, the most effective technique for removing any food particles remaining in the mouth is to brush and floss on a regular basis.

Flossing may appear little, yet it helps you to access secret regions that a toothbrush cannot. Food particles and bacteria have lots of places to hide in those tight, concealed gaps, which account for 40% of your teeth's surface area. 

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Thursday, 28 September 2023