The most common disease worldwide is the common cold. The second most common disease is tooth decay, and that includes cavities.
Yes, tooth decay is in fact a disease, leading to oral infections and abscesses, as well as possible tooth loss. From children to the elderly, from those living in poverty to those with poor nutrition, tooth decay is nearly as common as catching a cold.
What causes tooth decay?
Decaying teeth are caused by acid that is produced by certain types of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria feed off of the sugary foods you eat every day and can form a film that sticks to your teeth, known as plaque. In addition to tooth decay, plaque that is not removed from your teeth can eventually become tartar, and contribute to the development of more serious dental diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Preventing tooth decay and cavities
It only takes about 20 minutes for plaque to begin building following a meal. This means that brushing your teeth after eating, and flossing daily, give you your best chances of preventing tooth decay and, eventually cavities.
Of course, a through tooth cleaning every six months will also be very helpful.
- Preventing tooth decay requires diligence on your part:
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Floss at least once every day
- Limit sugary foods
- Have your teeth cleaned twice each year
- Visit your dentist immediately if you experience pain or sensitivity to extreme temperatures in your teeth or gums
Prevention is your greatest asset when talking about tooth decay. If you wait until you find a cavity and have it filled, you’re already in trouble. Besides, brushing and flossing, along with regular visits to your dentist, can easily prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Especially for your children, for whom a visit to the dentist for fillings can be painful and traumatic, teaching proper dental hygiene to prevent tooth decay should be a priority for all parents. Careful examination and clear diagnosis must be established before treatment, and future prevention must be addressed when tooth decay is found.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems, including total tooth replacement. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.