Tooth decay is one of the most common dental health problems .Maintaining Good oral hygiene is a vital part of preventing tooth decay.
Tooth decay is damage that occurs to a tooth’s surface or enamel. It usually happens when mouth bacteria make acids that begin to erode the tooth enamel.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TOOTH DECAY
The following are the signs of tooth decay..
When your gums feel irritated, sensitive, or even painful, you may have swollen or undetected bleeding gums.
Gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums due to a bacterial infection, is one of the most common causes of bleeding gums. when the bacteria builds up in the mouth, they start to produce acids that attack the enamel, which can lead to tooth decay.
2.PRESSURE ON TEETH
At times you may feel pain or pressure when you bite down on food.
3.SENSITIVITY OF TEETH
Tooth sensitivity usually occurs in the form of tenderness or pain when you’re eating or drinking something hot or cold. It may be a result of enamel erosion.
Poor dental habits are one of the leading causes of bad breath .
5, DISCOLORATION ON YOUR TEETH
Tooth discoloration is one of the intrinsic signs of tooth decay. Excessive tobacco use, gum diseases, certain food and drinks, and general poor dental hygiene cause teeth discoloration.
6.AN UNPLEASANT TASTE IN YOUR MOUTH
Dental problems such as infection and poor dental habits may lead to bad tastes and represent early warning signs of tooth decay.
1.Avoid frequent snacking
Snacking all day long can cause tooth decay. Every time you snack, you are exposing your teeth to more sugars. A balanced diet, low in sugar and processed foods, is one of the ways to protect your teeth and prevent tooth cavities or decay.
2.Eat dental healthy foods and drinks
You’re what you eat! Well, that’s true for your dental health too. A healthy mouth requires eating whole grains instead of refined grains, low-sugar bread, and fruits and vegetables such as apples, leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, and kale. Also, water is not just the best beverage for your body but also for your teeth.
3.Brush and floss regularly
Brushing your teeth regularly with a fluoride toothpaste is one of the most effective ways of preventing a tooth cavity or decay. Regular flossing to clean between your teeth completes the process.
4.Keep your mouth hydrated
Water improves your smile. Drinking water to keep your mouth hydrated helps your teeth stay healthy and strong. Water helps eliminate dry mouth by keeping your mouth moist and preventing bacteria colonies from producing so many acids that erode enamel leading to tooth cavities or decay. Also, drinking water with fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.
Tooth decay is higher in people who smoke cigarettes.
6.Reduce sugary foods and drinks
Sugars have a direct connection to tooth decay. When sugars, either raw or processed in foods and drinks, combine with saliva and mouth bacteria, it forms plaque. This combination forms acids that dissolve the enamel when left on the teeth. You can prevent tooth cavities or decay by minimizing sugary foods and drinks.
Dentinal hypersensitivity or tooth sensitivity is a common dental condition and anyone can have it through unhealthy habits or as a side effect of another condition or treatment.
Dentin is the sensitive soft layer of our tooth next to tooth enamel. It covers the tooth pulp where our nerves and blood vessels are located. Once it gets exposed due to weakened tooth enamel, you’ll start to experience tooth sensitivity. The common culprits of tooth sensitivity are:
1.Untreated tooth decay
One of the symptoms of tooth decay is tooth sensitivity. The early onset of tooth decay starts with a small hole or scratch on your tooth enamel which can’t be visible to the naked eye. Once the bacteria gets through the enamel, your dentin will be exposed to the extreme temperatures of what you consume, sometimes even to cold air. Thus, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
2.Aggressive brushing and using a toothpick brushing and flossing is a good habit. Aggressive brushing using a hard-bristled toothbrush can scratch the surface of your tooth enamel. Bacteria will then grab the opportunity to break down your enamel and cause sensitive teeth and tooth decay.
While a toothpick is widely used to remove food debris after meals, it can be too hard for the tooth enamel and cause scratches on its surface leading to tooth sensitivity.
3.Bruxism or teeth grinding
Bruxism or teeth grinding is another way we react to stress. While most of us do it occasionally, patients who work in a highly-stressful environment or suffering from anxiety are prone to teeth-grinding.
Your clenched jaws add more pressure to your bite and gradually wear down your upper and lower teeth. When the enamel breaks from the constant force of teeth grinding, your dentin becomes exposed and causes teeth sensitivity.
4.Cracked or chipped tooth
Due to injury or using your teeth as a tool can lead to a cracked or chipped tooth. Even with a small crack on the enamel, tooth sensitivity can occur. You also become at risk for tooth infection since bacteria can access the inner layers of your tooth through the cracks on your teeth.
5.Exposed tooth root
The tooth root is the part of your tooth below the gum line. It contains the nerves and blood vessels and is protected by a layer of cementum. When the gum or cementum gets damaged, the tooth roots are exposed to everything you eat. Thus, leading to tooth sensitivity.
Gum recession, teeth grinding and smoking are some of the leading causes of exposed tooth roots.
Sometimes teeth whitening treatments can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. The whitening solutions used can weaken and remove minerals from your tooth enamel which leads to tooth sensitivity.
1.Clove Oil for Pain Relief and Prevention
Cloves are an established natural remedy to treat toothache. Use a cotton swab to apply one or two drops of the oil directly on the spot of the tooth cavity and allow it to soak in. The oil produces a numbing effect to combat pain and can help your tooth retain minerals.
2.Oil of Oregano to Stop Decay
Oil of Oregano act as a natural antiseptic to prevent tooth decay. One of the naturally occurring compounds found in Oregano had strong antimicrobial properties. You can brush with Oil of Oregano daily to help slow the growth of cavities and prevent further tooth decay .
3.Neem Bark to fight Infection
You can brush with Neem sticks or chew on the leaves or seeds to destroy cavity-causing bacteria. The powerful oil in this plant act as a remedy for oral infections, tooth decay, and for preventing bleeding and sore gums. Neem twigs are used as chewing sticks to reduce oral bacteria and naturally clean and whiten teeth and even fight bad breath.
4.Green Tea as a Natural Fluoride Treatment
Drinking (unsweetened, or at least sugar-free) Green Tea daily can help to eliminate harmful bacteria buildup in your mouth. Green Tea contains a decent amount of naturally occurring fluorine which acts as a decay preventative. You can even use Green Tea to gargle or as a mouthwash.
5.Diet Changes to Reduce Bacteria
General dietary changes can also help to slow the tooth decay. If you are regularly consuming sweet, sugary snacks and sweetened drinks such as fruit juices or sodas, you are helping the tooth decay to spread by feeding the harmful bacteria.
Reduce your consumption of sugary snacks and beverages and use a straw when you do consume things like soda and fruit juice, so the sticky sugars bypass your teeth.
6.Salt water rinse
Salt water rinse is an effective first-line treatment. Salt water is a natural disinfectant, and it can help loosen food particles and debris that may be stuck in between your teeth.To use this approach, mix 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of salt into a glass of warm water and use it as a mouthwash.
To use garlic on a toothache, crush a garlic clove to create a paste and apply it to the affected area. You may wish to add a tiny bit of salt .It not only kill harmful bacteria that cause dental plaque, but it can also act as a pain reliever.
Bad breath (halitosis) is caused by the bacteria building up in your mouth. fresh breath helps your mouth in making enough salvia. Saliva stops the mouth from drying out – which is one of the main causes of bad breath. Chewing sugar free gum in between meals helps your mouth produce more salvia, keeping your breath smelling fresh.
Persistent bad breath could be a sign of a more serious condition like gum disease.
Main Causes of Bad Breath
Certain foods like dairy, onions, garlic, and spices cause bad breath. In addition, drinks like alcohol and coffee can dry out your mouth, promoting bacteria that causes bad breath.
If you don’t brush and floss your teeth everyday, food particles remain on your teeth and cause bad breath. In addition, if you wear dentures, food can become lodged underneath your dentures, creating an unpleasant smell. Odor-causing bacteria can also collect on the tongue, which many people fail to clean as part their oral health routine.
Saliva helps displace bacteria in the mouth that causes bad odors. When you have dry mouth, odor-causing bacteria is not washed away by saliva, resulting in bad breath. This is why most people have “Bad morning breath;” as saliva production decreases when you are sleeping causing dry mouth and bad breath.
Smoking can dry out your mouth, resulting in bad breath, and make your mouth smell like an ashtray. smokers are more prone to gum diseases and bad breath.
When you have a cavity (or tooth decay), plaque (food particles and bacteria) accumulates in the cavity and causes bad breath.
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. When you fail to brush and floss properly, the bacteria on your teeth causes toxins to form. This can irritate the gums, cause pockets to form between your teeth and gums that trap food, and cause bad breath.
Bleeding or dry sockets after extractions (like wisdom tooth removal) can cause bad breath until the wound heals. So good oral hygiene is crucial to prevent unpleasant complications.
There are potential causes outside of the mouth that can be causing your bad breath. This may include heartburn, gastrointestinal illnesses, uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, tonsillitis, sinus infection, and other serious illnesses. Certain medications can also contribute to dry mouth or release chemicals that cause bad breath.
1.Brush and Floss Brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss to get rid of all that bacteria that’s causing your bad breath.
2.Take Care of Your Tongue Don’t forget about your tongue when you’re taking care of your teeth. Use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clear them out.
3.Clean Dentures If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night, and clean them thoroughly before using them again the next morning.
4.Keep Saliva Flowing To get more saliva moving in your mouth, try eating healthy foods that require a lot of chewing, like carrots or apples.
5.Quit Smoking Giving up this dangerous habit not only will give you better breath, you’ll have a better quality of life.