Our teeth tend to be troublesome. They contain live tissues and nerves, which are susceptible to the bacteria that occur naturally in the mouth. Simple activities such as eating and talking also put your teeth under pressure.
Your teeth – and gums – can come under attack when plaque and tartar build up on the teeth and gum line. The microbes in plaque and tartar produce acid that eats away at your tooth enamel, and toxins that infect the gums.
So, to help your teeth and gums stay strong and healthy, it’s imperative to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once every day. It’s also advisable to get regular dental check-ups so that any problems can be detected before they become serious. Cutting down on sugary foods and drinks is also a good idea.
Nevertheless, problems can still arise, so you need to be able to spot the signs of underlying dental issues and know how to deal with them.
- Tooth Decay
Tooth decay (also referred to as cavities or dental caries) occurs when the germs in plaque settle on teeth. The acid produced by these bacteria eats away at the enamel and forms holes. Children and older people are more prone to cavities because their tooth enamel is more vulnerable.
You can help to protect your teeth against cavities by using a fluoride toothpaste, and avoiding acidic food and drinks like citrus fruits and fruit juices.
- Gum Disease
As with tooth decay, anyone can get gum disease. This bacterial infection begins as gingivitis and can progress to periodontitis, a more serious condition that attacks the tissue and ligaments that secure your teeth in place.
The early stages of gingivitis and mild periodontal disease can be reversed with a good routine of oral hygiene and professional treatment for the infection.
- Tooth Infection
If a tooth root fills up with bacteria, it will damage the nerves and pulp inside the tooth, so seek dental treatment immediately if you have cracked a tooth and think it’s become infected. Severe tooth root infections can cause abscesses, in the form of painful facial swelling. The only solution in cases like this is typically root canal treatment.
- Enamel Erosion
Your teeth get through a lot of work over time, particularly every time you eat. This ongoing wear and tear can lead to erosion of the teeth’s protective outer layer, the enamel. Avoid habits such as chewing on hard substances like ice, grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.
- Dry Mouth
Dry mouth (xerostomia) is caused by a deficiency of saliva, which allows bacteria to remain on your teeth, eating away at the enamel. There are several causes of dry mouth, including medications. If you are on any kind of prescription drugs, ask your doctor whether this could be an issue.
To find out for sure about the condition of your teeth and gums, schedule an appointment with Sherwood Dental now.