The stages of tooth decay

7 Facts About Tooth Decay

What do you really know about tooth decay? Is it inevitable? Is sugar really bad? We’ve compiled 7 facts you should know to better protect your oral health.

1. Watch what you eat. Dental decay is triggered by the things we eat. Foods and drinks also feed the bacteria that lives on our mouths and these bacteria produce the acids that gradually dissolve the enamel of the teeth causing decay.

2. Plaque builds up. The plaque that grows on teeth can build up when not brushed regularly. This plaque produces the acids break down the teeth, which in turn creates cavities and gum disease.

3. Sugar really is bad for teeth. Food which contains sugars (such as sodas, juice, processed foods, carbohydrates, etc.) can cause faster buildup of plaque and our teeth can be damaged faster when these are in our diet. BUT… it is important to know the sugar is not what is causing tooth decay. Sugar feeds the bacteria that causes tooth decay. (So remember to brush after that sweet snack!)

4. Yes, you do need to see the dentist. Early in the cycle of tooth decay, there are no symptoms, the teeth will not hurt, and the cavities can only be seen on an x-ray. Your dentist office is set up specifically to take these facial x-rays.

5. Location, location, location. Biting surfaces of molars are the most likely locations of decay, because food often gets stuck there, and is not easily brushed away.

6. You’re not alone. The majority of adults have had to have at least one tooth removed. Sometimes this is due to space in the mouth (i.e. wisdom teeth), for others it is because of extreme decay or injury.

7. Don’t be afraid! Fourteen percent of people are scared to go to the dentist. Many avoid appointments and eventually suffer more tooth decay. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we can offer safe sedation options to help you through your visit.

Tooth decay is preventable and reversible in the early stages! It is imperative to make smart decisions about food & drink, brush & floss regularly and visit the dental office at least twice a year. Is it time for your next appointment? Call us today to schedule an appointment at our Reno or Sparks dental offices.