Tooth Decay: How Do We Prevent It?

tooth-decay

tooth-decay

Tooth Decay: How Do We Prevent It?

Tooth  decay(cavities) has become one of the foremost chronic diseases in America, especially in young children and adolescents. Although it is preventable, not everyone can afford the dental care necessary to maintain their healthy teeth. Decay is caused by bacteria that form on our teeth as a result of eating the wrong foods. This bacterium  then produces acid, which, in turn, causes a clear sticky build up on the teeth and gums. This build up is called plaque and it eats away our teeth and damages our gums. These acids usually attack our teeth like an enemy for at least 20 minutes after we have finished our meals or snacks.  In the early 1970s until the middle 1980s, there was a decline in tooth decay, but that decline did not continue. Cavities began to increase, especially in young children of minority and low-income families. Just to get an idea of the significant impact that decay can have on our teeth, there are endless tooth decay pictures available online that will show this damage. These tooth decay pictures can be quite graphic, but will certainly do the job of urging people to the dentist for preventive treatments!

Symptoms that we can experience when there is a problem are pain when we chew on a certain area, or when our teeth are sensitive to hot or cold. In order to diagnose problems with the teeth, a dentist will take x-rays, or pictures, of the teeth and gums. By examining these pictures, the dentist can determine where the problem lies and can began to create a plan of action. There are several things that can be done, depending on the severity of the problem. If there is just a small cavity, the dentist will drill a small hole and fill it in with a substance that hardens, thus relieving the pain. Sometimes it might be necessary for the dentist to take another picture in order to get a better view of the tooth that is causing problems. More severe cavities will require a root canal or a crown. Every step is taken to save the tooth , but some cannot be saved and will have to be pulled by the dentist.
tooth_decay from soft drinks

tooth_decay from soft drinks

Although poor dental health is prevalent in America, there are several steps we can take to protect our teeth and to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. We should brush our teeth after every meal and after snacks with a fluoride tooth paste. Flossing at these same times is also a good strategy for removing buildup of plaque. Eating healthier and staying away from sugary foods and drinks goes a long way towards preventing tooth decay. Seeing the dentist on a regular basis for preventive care such as cleaning is imperative for maintaining good oral health. Ask  your dentist about special sealants that can be put on the teeth to protect them from  plaque. There are also options of using a supplemental fluoride if you have a more severe problem with cavities. People with very sensitive teeth that even hurt when brushing can purchase toothpaste that is designed especially for sensitive teeth, City governments also made a major contribution to the war on cavities when fluoride was added to city water systems all over America. This move has made an enormous contribution to preventing tooth decay in our cities.
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