Abacus Dental Care, 52 Lennon Drive, Milton Keynes, MK8 0AS

Tooth decay is the most common problem seen by dental health professionals every year, with many dentists trying to implement preventative measures for patients by explaining what tooth decay is and how it is caused.

Tooth decay is permanent damage that has been done to your teeth, it is caused by a build up of bacteria in your mouth combined with dental plaque which turns the sugars present in food and drink into acids. If this plaque isn’t removed effectively with cleaning, it will only build up further and eventually the plaque turns into hard calculus which cannot be removed by normal brushing alone, leading to problems such as gum disease, dental abscesses and cavities in your teeth.

Tooth decay in children, teenagers and older people is more frequently seen than in people of working age or babies, however anyone is susceptible. This is why it is so important to have a good oral hygiene routine and habits, no matter what age you are.

If you feel as though you are experiencing tooth decay, or if you would like to learn the best way to keep your mouth healthy and happy, get in touch with us today. Here at Abacus Dental Care, we are a friendly, professional team who only want to provide the best for our patients and their oral health.

What are the symptoms of tooth decay?

The signs of tooth decay can start to appear before you have any pain. Unfortunately, the longer the decay is left and the further the decay spreads, these signs become much more prominent, increasing the risk of discomfort. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

● Toothache, or oral pain that occurs without a cause.

● Increased tooth sensitivity.

● Sharp pain to hot and cold temperatures.

● Pain when biting down.

● Visible cavities, hoes or pits in your teeth.

● Brown, black or discoloured spots on your teeth.

● Unpleasant taste.

● Bad breath

If you find that you are experiencing these symptoms, please book an appointment with us as soon as possible; what could be only a filling today could be a root canal or even an extraction if the decay is left too long.

What are the causes of tooth decay?

The most common cause of tooth decay is the build up of dental plaque, this happens when a person does not brush their teeth frequently, or well enough. When this plaque comes into contact with sugary foods and drinks, the bacteria converts the carbohydrates in the food which produces acid in the process. This acid breaks down the enamel of your tooth, causing cavities.

These cavities then allow more plaque and bacteria to reach the dentine surface as it is harder to clean these pits with normal brushing. The rate of tooth decay increases after this, as dentine is much softer than enamel.

If you do not seek treatment for dental decay when it is at this stage, the bacteria is able to reach the pulp of your tooth which contains nerves and blood vessels. When your nerves are exposed to the bacteria, this is usually the cause of pain in your mouth. The infection caused can also lead to dental abscesses around the tooth. If the infection then spreads to the bone, you could end up with a more serious infection or abscess.

To prevent tooth decay from spreading any further if you already have it, it is vital that you seek the correct dental treatment as soon as you can, your dentist can also provide you with advice to prevent tooth decay in the future.

What treatments are available for tooth decay?

The treatments for tooth decay vary greatly, depending on the extent of the damage caused. Early stages of tooth decay happen before cavities appear and this can be treated by:

● Reducing your intake of sugar in food and drink.

● Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day for 2 minutes every day.

There are a number of treatments available for tooth decay which has advanced past this point which include:

● Crowns and fillings, in which the dental decay will be removed and the cavity will then be filled or covered with an onlay or crown.

● Root canals, which are needed when the bacteria has spread to the pulp of a tooth.

● Removing all or part of the tooth, this may happen if the tooth cannot be saved. If the decay has spread to the point that the tooth will need to be removed, we also offer partial dentures, bridges and dental implants to replace the tooth that has been lost. Here at Abacus Dental Care we can work with you to make you feel comfortable ensuring that we meet your needs and expectations of the smile you want and deserve.

Tips for tooth decay prevention

Take a look at the tips below to help prevent tooth decay from starting:

● Seeing your GP or a dentist if you have a persistently dry mouth, as this is a factor that contributes to the development of tooth decay.

● Brushing your teeth correctly with a fluoride toothpaste, twice a day for two minutes every day.

● Reducing your intake of sugary foods and drinks

● Visiting your dentist regularly every 6 months for checkups and hygiene visits

Book your appointment today

If you think you may be experiencing any of the symptoms related to tooth decay, or if you would like to make sure you are taking the best care of your teeth, book an appointment with us here at Abacus Dental Care.

Our experienced and fully qualified team will carry out a full check up, which can identify any problems that will need treating and will suggest the best treatment options for you when necessary. They will also be able to provide the best advice on how to improve your oral health.

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52 Lennon Drive, Milton Keynes, MK8 0AS

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