What causes adult tooth decay? A cavity can be an uncomfortable experience and place your smile at risk of serious health consequences. Understanding the causes of this issue can help you take steps to prevent adult tooth decay. You can then enjoy a healthy, comfortable, and whole smile.
Causes of Tooth Decay
Why do we develop adult tooth decay? Our teeth are coated in a protective layer of enamel. The hardest substance in the human body, this layer protects the teeth from cavities. However, if the enamel becomes weak or damaged, bacteria can reach the inner sensitive layers of dentin. Injury and poor oral hygiene are common causes of cavities.
How do you know if you have tooth decay? You may recognize the common warning signs, which can include:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Toothaches that persist after 48 hours
Without treatment, the decay will continue to expand and eventually reach the inner pulp. Your tooth’s nerve center, the pulp keeps it alive and healthy. Once bacteria infiltrate the pulp, an infection can develop, causing swelling, discomfort, and a higher risk of tooth loss. If you experience the early warning signs of a cavity please see a dental professional as soon as possible.
You can take steps to help reduce the risk of tooth decay, such as:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing your teeth once a day
- Having your teeth examined and cleaned once every six months
- Avoiding foods/drinks high in sugar and other starches
- Wearing a mouthguard when playing sports to avoid damage
If you do develop a cavity then restorative treatment may be necessary to restore your tooth to full function and health. You may benefit from a one-visit procedure, such as dental filling or bonding procedure. Advanced dental caries may require a dental crown. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team today.
ABOUT YOUR WACO, TX GENERAL DENTIST
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Corbet Locke, DDS, please contact us at (254) 776-4888. Our office welcomes patients living in Waco, Hewitt, McGregor, Woodway, and Central Texas.