5 things you should know about tooth decay

1. How do you get tooth decay?

Tooth decay occurs when sugary foods and starches found in food such as: soft drinks, cordials, cakes and sweets are left on the teeth. The bacteria that live in your mouth love these types of foods. When the bacteria eat the food left on your teeth, they produce acid which then breaks down your tooth structure causing decay.

2. Tooth decay may not cause you pain and you may not see it

Tooth decay can form and you may not realise until it’s too late. It is best to prevent decay than treat decay. This is why it is so important to get regular check-ups with your dentist.

Sometimes decay can have a tiny entry point on your tooth that you cannot see. It can continue

3. Tooth decay treatment

Treatment can vary from small fillings to large fillings and possible root canals (LINK the “why you shouldn’t be afraid of a root canal article here”). Your general dentist can perform these treatments. Fillings and root canal are usually completed under general anaesthetic. This means you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure.

4. How to prevent tooth decay

  • Brushing twice a day and flossing is vital to ensuring you don’t get tooth decay.
  • Fluoride is an ingredient in toothpaste which strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay.
  • There are special over the counter toothpastes that contain higher concentrations of fluoride.
  • Tooth Mousse is a cream that contains calcium, phosphate and fluoride. These ingredients help strengthen and decrease risk of decay.

5. What does tooth decay feel like?

The symptoms begin with being sensitive to cold, sore to bite on, sore when eating sweet foods or sometimes all foods. You may feel a niggling feeling in the tooth, or a dull ache. If you are experiencing any of these tooth decay symptoms its best to come in and see a dentist before something more sinister begins.