What Is tooth decay?
Tooth decay occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene which includes not brushing for long enough, failing to floss regularly, consistently eating foods that rot the teeth among other reasons. Tooth decay comes about when acids are discharged from the bacteria (tartar and plaque).
Symptoms of tooth decay
- Unexplained sensitivity in your teeth.
- Sensitivity when biting down into foods.
- Extreme pain when consuming very hot or very cold foods.
- Tooth infections.
What if I have tooth decay that develops into a cavity?
If you have a suspected cavity, your dentist can use a probe light to seek it out.
In order to reduce your chances of getting a cavity, be sure to use antibacterial mouthwash, as this will remove a breeding ground for bacteria. Fluoride toothpaste will also strengthen teeth. Note that these methods should be in addition to your normal dental hygiene routine.
We have many patients who are left puzzled, as they are brushing their teeth for the recommended twice a day, 2 minutes per session. However, their incorrect technique is what is causing layers of plaque and tartar to build and decay their teeth.
Visits to the hygienist
Contrary to what many believe, visits to the hygienist are not a substitute for visits to the dentist. Dentists can be classed as ‘doctors of teeth’ and complete a longer period of study than hygienists, whose services are focused more around the hygiene of the mouth. Their role includes deep cleaning your teeth (otherwise known as a ‘scale and polish’), removing the plaque and tartar that builds up and stains your teeth. Why is it important to remove these substances from your teeth you might ask? Tartar is essentially a layer of bacteria that suffocates your teeth and if left untreated, your teeth will rot and can even fall out.
Statistics about tooth decay
- Brushing once a day increases your chance of tooth decay by 33%.
- 30% of children starting school have signs of tooth decay.
- Between 2010 and 2015 there was a 20% increases in children admitted to hospital with tooth decay in the UK.