Tooth Decay Prevention and Treatment
How to prevent tooth decay
The primary cause of tooth decay is the buildup of bacteria on the enamel. A dental plaque contains bacteria which breaks down carbohydrates releasing acid in the process. The acid produced erodes the minerals in the tooth enamel causing cavities. It’s essential to thoroughly brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and regularly use an antibacterial mouthwash.
Smoking and alcoholic drinks interfere with the supply and circulation of saliva in the mouth. Cutting down on these products is part of the tooth decay prevention regimen. Further, tooth decay can be prevented by reducing the intake of sugary food. Visiting the dentist regularly is helpful in early detection of tooth decay where it can then be reversed.
Symptoms of tooth decay
- A toothache – the pain can be persistent or a sharp pain experienced occasionally
- Tooth sensitivity – A sensitive tooth when taking cold or hot food
- Swelling gums
- Darkening tooth
- Black spots on the enamel
- Pus in the infected tooth
Tooth Decay Treatment
The type of treatment will depend on the stage of the decay. Cavities are treated with the application of a fluoride gel. The gel strengthens the enamel and is resistant to acids produced by the bacteria in the mouth. The fluoride varnish also prevents further decay of the tooth. The fillings used in this process is the dental amalgam. The hard compound is made up of metals such as mercury, copper, and tin. For children, glass ionomer, which is a weaker filler is used. A crown is then used to cover the tooth completely.
A root canal is a treatment for tooth decay in the advanced stage. At this stage, the decay has passed the dentine and gotten to the pulp. Bacterial infection in the pulp, the part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels, causes pain. Root canal procedure will remove the infected pulp. The procedure is then followed by filling and crowning.
There is no substitute to a visit to the dentist when you experience the symptoms, but if you need a quick comfort, check this link out to learn about the best tooth decay treatment at home.