Wonder why some people have that picture-perfect smile and that flawless, complete set of teeth? The secret lies in one of the aspects of the human body most people take for granted – oral health.
Oral health revolves around an ever-constant tug-of-war between two parties, the fluoride, and the bacteria. When the fluoride and the saliva minerals are on the losing team against the bacteria, your tooth’s solid surface began to lose its natural protective coating. This loss of enamel makes you susceptible to tooth decay, which is an onset of cavities.
No one likes to develop severe dental health problems, so identifying the early symptoms of cavities can help contribute to the body’s natural defense mechanism against dental deterioration.
Symptoms of Cavities
Prevention is better than cure. This may sound cliché, but it is a truth one must hear in order to triumph over the oral health battle. Identifying the signs of early tooth decay can make or break a person’s dental health in the future. Some of the body’s signals for the existence of cavities are:
- Random pain on the tooth area without any reason
- Discomfort and pain when biting food
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Sharp pain when consuming something sweet or drinking cold and hot beverages.
- Visible pits in the tooth area
- Brown or black stains that are noticeable on the teeth’s surface
Risks to Watch Out for
No one is safe from cavities, not even children. Every being that has a set of teeth has certain risk factors to observe and be wary of. Being aware of these menaces will help you develop a habit that will minimize teeth from being damaged and may even prevent cavities from occurring.
Consuming sugar or starch
Eating starch and sugar-rich food is a prominent factor that may lead to the development of cavities, as the bacteria in the mouth react with their composition. This reaction generates acid, which is the reason why the hard outer covering of the tooth is shaved away. In addition, constant exposure to acid leads to the enamel losing vital minerals, which help in tooth protection.
Another factor to consider is the location of the teeth, and it has been proven that molars and premolars are more susceptible to tooth decay. They are hard to reach and have multiple grooves and crannies, so they tend to accumulate plaque and food particles.
Cavities do not discriminate; they can materialize on old and young alike. Older generations have a higher risk of having tooth decay, especially if they have no regular dental appointments. As time passes, gums tend to recede and cause greater parts of the teeth to be eroded.
Soda and other Acidic Beverages
Consuming these types of sustenance provides more fuel for the bacteria to give a constant acid exposure to the teeth, which leads to them breaking down at a speedier pace.
Lack of Saliva
Having a dry mouth and dehydration can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Saliva has certain substances and minerals that keep the acid at bay and even helps in preventing plaque accumulation in the mouth. Some medical treatments may cause a decrease in saliva production, such as radiation or chemotherapy sessions.
Dental devices break down over the years and may develop sharp edges. These edges may be a cause for plaque buildup and may nurture unnoticeable tooth decay.
Stomach acids are never meant to go up the mouth, but in some cases, they can occur. Heartburn can quickly break down the tooth enamel and may expose the teeth to damage and decay.
As an infectious disease that affects one in four people, tooth decay is the second prevailing disease after common colds. Taking control of your dental health is never too late, and if identified correctly, tooth decay and cavities can be remedied or healed completely.
These are some of the habits that can help you avoid cavities:
Brush your Teeth Regularly and use Mouthwash
This is a common habit that should never be neglected. Scrubbing your teeth gently with the right brush can help remove dangerous plaque buildup and bacteria infestation. This is the simplest way of cavity prevention. Brushing the teeth after meals and before sleeping can prevent enamel damage. Incorporating mouthwash use can also increase the chances of avoiding tooth decay as they help remove more microbes.
Fluoride is a mineral that can help in preventing tooth decay; it may even reverse the deterioration process. Aside from replacing the mineral lost due to the acid in the mouth, it also reduces the production of bacteria. Consuming fluoridated water, applying fluoride gel, or getting a dentist’s prescription to get fluoride tablets can give you enough to ensure oral health.
This is a protective coating made of plastic that is usually used to protect molars. They prevent bacteria and plaque from accumulating on the notches of these back teeth, which is hard to reach by brushing. In addition, they serve as a barrier to ward off microbes and protect tooth enamel.
Brushing and using mouthwash can only reach three parts of our teeth, and the remaining two sides are often neglected. Flossing ensures that all fragments are cleaned. Aside from being easy to do, it also provides that all parts of the teeth are free from food and bacteria accumulation.
Drink more water
Sugary and acidic drinks can be a factor of tooth decay, and replacing their intake with water can do wonders not only for the teeth but also for the overall body health. Not only does water increase saliva production, but it also flushes down food particles that are stuck in the mouth. Beverages with too many additives such as caffeine shakes, and sugary drinks can only contribute to acid production. At the same time, water ensures that your tooth enamel is not harmed in any way.
The Bane of Cavities
When all is said and done, it is still best to visit tooth decay’s natural enemies: the dentists. A regular appointment to check your overall oral health can ensure the proper maintenance of your teeth. Constant cleanings and check-ups at the slightest sign of discomfort may prevent the onset of cavities formation, and may even prevent tooth extraction.
A picture-perfect smile is just an appointment away.