How Your Teeth Decay
In order for bacteria to multiply and live, it must have food! Eating sugary foods, or even starches like rice, feed the bacteria. Acids will produce and may dissolve your tooth enamel (outer layer of the tooth).
Types of Decay
Children can get a type of decay we call early childhood caries, or baby bottle tooth decay. When kids are put to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, the teeth will remain exposed to carbohydrates throughout the entire night. Bacteria can grow very rapidly and continue to produce decay that causes tooth decay.
When it comes to adults, exposed roots of teeth can develop cavities. We call this root caries. Many adults suffer from receding gums, periodontal disease, and xerostomia (dry mouth). All of these factors increase the risk of tooth decay.
Sometimes bacteria and bits of food can slip between the tooth of a filling or crown and can cause decay. This usually happens if the filling cracks or pulls away from tooth leaving a gap.
Studies show the following factors may affect your risk of tooth decay!
• Parents or siblings with dental decay
• What your diet consists of
• How well you take care of your teeth
To prevent your risk consider doing the following:
• Strengthen your teeth enamel with sealants and or fluoride varnish
• Reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth
• Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly for about 2-3 minutes twice a day! Remember not to brush too hard!
If you have any doubts or concerns contact your doctor! It is always better to catch and treat the problem as soon as possible before it gets worse! It can save you lots of time and money. This is why it is so important to visit your dentist for a full mouth exam, cleaning, and x-rays about every six months.