If you’ve ever had a tooth cavity, you know how unpleasant the experience can be. Cavities, also known as dental caries, are caused by decay that leads to tiny holes in the tooth. These holes can expose the nerves running through your teeth, causing pain when you chew and an increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
How Common is Tooth Decay?
Despite a decline in tooth decay since the 1970s, tooth decay remains the most prevalent chronic disease in adults and children. According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 92 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 have tooth decay in their permanent teeth. And 26 percent of adults in the same age group have untreated dental caries.
Untreated tooth decay can not only impact your health but also your wallet. The longer dental decay persists, the more expensive and time consuming the treatment is to fix it. Persistent and untreated dental caries require dental fillings. If the decay is extensive, root canals may be necessary. Tooth decay ultimately leads to a loss of your teeth, which can cause pain while eating, drinking, and cause your remaining teeth to shift.
Tooth Decay is Preventable with Good Oral Hygiene Habits
The good news is that tooth decay is highly preventable with good oral hygiene habits. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Tooth enamel, the most visible part of your teeth, protects the tooth from decay. But enamel can break down over time due to age or acidic foods. Fluoride in toothpaste and other dental products strengthens and protects enamel and can prevent tooth decay.
Flossing also goes hand in hand with oral hygiene. Flossing removes the food particles between your teeth and around your gum line that your brush can miss. If left between your teeth, the remaining food particles can turn into bacteria. That bacteria will cause plaque to build up around the teeth and gums and can lead to periodontal disease.
Dental Cleanings and Exams Prevent Tooth Decay and Preserve a Healthy Smile
In addition to brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential to your oral health. You should get your teeth regularly checked by a dentist. Dentists examine your teeth for any plaque build-up and remove it before it can become a bigger problem. And your dentist can catch tooth decay early, making it easier and less costly to treat.
If you are looking for a dentist in Austin, Texas, the Toothbar is here for you. We are located in downtown Austin and provide dental care with a human touch. We want you to feel at ease when you visit us. Our goal is to provide you with the best dental care that you can get. Give the Toothbar a call today to schedule your first appointment with us.