Tooth Decay and It's Risks

Posted by Dr. Prescott on Jun 24 2022, 05:15 AM

Tooth Decay and It's Risks

Tooth decay is often depicted as a "silent epidemic." NBC notes that about 91% of Americans between the age of 20-64 reportedly have tooth decay.

Tooth decay occurs when acids wear away the enamel of the tooth, exposing the dentin. This layer of the tooth is softer than enamel, so it reacts to the acid and wears away as well. The tooth decay process will continue until the tooth cannot be repaired.

Once tooth decay reaches the inner layer, the pulp of the tooth can become infected. The infection can spread to the bone, causing abscesses and tooth loss.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria. These bacteria live in the plaque and tartar that build up on your teeth. The bacteria feed on the sugars and starches in your mouth, and they produce an acid as a result. The acid attacks the enamel of your teeth, breaking down the minerals in the enamel and causing tooth decay.

What are the Symptoms of Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is the single most prevalent dental disease, affecting children and adults alike. While there is no pain associated with the earliest stages of tooth decay, it can still result in serious dental problems if left untreated. The following symptoms can indicate the onset of tooth decay.

  • Cavities
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Change in the Color of the Tooth
  • Tooth Pain
  • Bad Breath

What Treatments Are Available for Tooth Decay?

If your dentist notices signs of tooth decay, then they will recommend treatments to restore your teeth. Tooth decay is treatable and not a permanent issue, so please don't ignore any symptoms.

The treatment a dentist chooses depends on the extent of the decay. Simple cavities can be repaired with a filling, and more complex cavities may require root canal therapy.

What's the Best Way to Prevent Tooth Decay?

The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time with fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss daily and use an antimicrobial mouthwash. Make sure to visit your dentist for routine appointments.

Get advanced dental treatments from Prescott Family Dentistry, Fort Mill, SC, by the expert team led by Jason Prescott, DMD, FAGD. For more details and appointments, call us at (803) 802-7878, book online, or visit us at 1860 Coltharp Rd., Fort Mill, South Carolina 29715.

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