Oral hygiene has an impact on general health. Keeping your mouth clean is, therefore, important to avoid infections and dental problems from ever occurring. However, sometimes, oral conditions can develop even with regular brushing and flossing. One of the most common is tooth decay.
What is Plaque? Tartar?
The mouth contains millions of bacteria even with regular brushing. When mixed with byproducts from the foods we eat, dental plaque is then formed. It is a sticky film that coats the surface of the teeth and even gets under the gum line. Brushing properly for two minutes should be enough to get rid of plaque.
However, if plaque stays on teeth longer, it hardens and becomes tartar. Unlike plaque, you will need professional oral cleaning because it is harder to remove, says Harley Dentistry. And this can lead to periodontal disease when left unmanaged.
Dental caries or cavity is the result of over-exposure of a tooth to acid. The acid weakens the enamel and may cause it to develop a white spot. This white spot, which indicates lost minerals on the enamel, is an early stage of tooth decay.
As more minerals get lost, the cavity spreads and may change in colour. From a simple white spot, it can become yellowish or brownish to black.
Reversing the Early Stage of Tooth Decay
If there is a white spot present on one of your teeth, you can reverse the effects of the damage by brushing teeth regularly with toothpaste containing fluoride, drinking fluoridated water, or visiting the dentist for fluoride treatment.
Treatment for Tooth Decay
A dental filling is required once the cavity has reached the dentin. A crown is an option for a tooth that has lost most of its structure. On the other hand, there are very limited treatments available for worse cases like an abscessed tooth. Treatment for this only includes extraction or root canal.
There are several treatment options for tooth decay. And while the early stage of tooth decay can be reversed, it is always best to avoid its development in the first place.