Currently, tooth decay is the most prevalent oral health condition according to the Global Burden of Disease 2019 report. Tooth decay, or dental caries, occurs when decay-causing bacteria damage the tooth to the point of cavity creation or structural damage. Its symptoms include tooth-ache, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, appearance of spots on teeth and an unpleasant taste. If not addressed and treated properly, it can lead to infection, discomfort, or worse, tooth-loss.
High intake of carbohydrate-rich and sugary items:
When the sugar and starch in food and drink items come in contact with the decay-causing bacteria, it creates an acid. This acid can prove to be harmful to the tooth enamel in case of over-consumption of items with high carbohydrate and sugar content.
Neglect of proper tooth and gum cleaning can lead to dental plaque build-up. Tooth decay is caused by the presence of this build-up, as it also leads to increased levels of acid in the mouth.
As a source of fluoride, saliva helps to protect the teeth from decay-causing acid. Thus, the lack of saliva can lead to It.
The pH of tooth decay:
Over-consumption of acidic food and drink items can cause the pH level to drop from its ideal level of 7.0. This imbalance can potentially lead to unhealthy pH levels and tooth damage. In particular, a pH level drop to 5.5 or below can cause tooth decay to ensue.
In case you are displaying any symptoms, seeking consultation and treatment from a dentist is advisable. The specific treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms:
- In the early stages of tooth decay, simple fluoride treatments like varnish or mouthwash may be prescribed.
- In case of a cavity, the treatment can be in the form of either a filling or a crown. More information on such restorative dentistry services provided by Six Sigma Dentistry is available here: https://sixsigmadentistry.com/restorative-dentistry/
- In severe cases, wherein the decay has reached the soft tissue within your tooth, a root canal treatment may be required. For more information regarding endodontic treatments provided by Six Sigma Dentistry, head over to: https://sixsigmadentistry.com/endodontics/
While it is common and treatable, dental decay is also easily preventable. It can be avoided by keeping the teeth and gums healthy. Ways to do so include visiting the dentist regularly, properly cleaning one’s teeth and gums, and limiting the consumption of sugary, starchy or acidic foods and drinks.More