Although tooth decay has declined among young children as a group, it can still be a problem for individual children, and even teens and adults.
Plaque is one of the biggest causes for tooth decay. It also causes your gums to become irritated, inflamed, and in some cases, bleed. Over time, the decay process may cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, a condition called receding gums. In addition, the long-term decay process can lead to infections in your gums and can eat away at the bone structures under the teeth. Inside your teeth, decay can gradually destroy the inner layer, or dentin, the pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissues, and the root.
Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars or starches, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and after many such attacks, the enamel can break down and a cavity forms.
•Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
•Clean between teeth daily with floss or an inter-dental cleaner.
•Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
•Ask dentist about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
•Visit our dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.