Tooth decay is damage to the enamel of your teeth that progresses to deeper layers of the tooth, and eventually exposes the pulp of the tooth. Tooth decay, also known as a cavity, is caused by the bacteria in your mouth creating acid that eats away at your enamel. Untreated cavities can cause infection, extreme pain and the loss of the tooth. Deep cavities can cause pain once they reach the pulp of your teeth as they contain highly-sensitive blood vessels and nerves. Read on to learn the causes of tooth decay, and what you can do to prevent it.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Regular care is needed to keep teeth healthy. Tooth decay due to poor oral hygiene is avoidable. A good oral hygiene routine includes brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes, flossing regularly, brushing your tongue, and using mouth wash. Set a little timer for yourself while you’re brushing to ensure that you brush your teeth for the full two minutes. In addition to brushing and flossing every day, dental hygiene professionals recommend a teeth cleaning once every six months. Skipping a cleaning can lead to the development of periodontal disease, gingivitis, or other damaging oral condition like cavities, or tooth loss.

Deep Tooth Crevices

Deep tooth crevices allow bacteria to grow, and plaque to build up. Dental sealant is a preventive measure than can be taken to help reduce your risk of developing cavities in these crevices. It is a thin coating that acts as a barrier between your molars and unwanted bacteria. While sealants are certainly not an alternative or replacement to everyday brushing and flossing, they can work in conjunction with your oral health care regimen. Getting sealants is a quick, easy, and completely painless procedure. They can be applied and set in one simple visit to Advanced Dental Arts’ Tampa office.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Many foods which people consume contain acid. Unlike the bacteria that causes decay, these acids coat the teeth immediately and begin to damage tooth enamel. Limit your intake of highly acidic foods and drinks such as carbonated sodas, lemons, and other citrus fruits and juices. Drink acidic drinks through a straw to avoid contact with your teeth. Eat acidic or sugary foods or drinks as part of a meal rather than on their own. Rinse your mouth immediately with clear water after eating acidic foods or drinking acidic drinks.

Dry Mouth Issue

Saliva plays a key role in keeping teeth healthy and strong. Not only does saliva increase the health of the body tissues, it protects enamel by coating the teeth in protective calcium and other minerals. Because saliva helps inhibit the growth of plaque, persons with dry mouth conditions will more than likely have dental issues which lead to tooth decay. Dry mouth may be caused by prescription medications, foods, or a medical condition, such as diabetes. Dr. Susana Kulangara will work closely with you to prevent tooth decay or further tooth decay due to dry mouth issues.

Regular brushing, flossing, rinsing, and visiting Advanced Dental Arts every six months to undergo a regular teeth cleaning can protect teeth and identify problems early. To find out more, or to set an appointment at call us at 813-701-5074. At Advanced Dental Arts, we strive to provide each and every one of our patients with the highest quality dental care available in the Tampa, FL area.