Tackling Tooth Decay in The 21st Century

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems. Studies by the World Dental Federation show that it strikes almost 100 per cent of adults and around three-quarters of children. Damage to the hard surface of the tooth leads to cracks and cavities. If these are left untreated, tooth decay results in pain, infection and ultimately tooth loss. 


Causes of Tooth Decay


Every day, your teeth are exposed to substances that can be corrosive to the outer enamel of the tooth. These include sugary or acidic drinks, plaque build-up and even bacteria from your saliva. If these substances build up, they will erode the outer enamel of the tooth. 


It is impossible to avoid exposure altogether, but tooth decay is exacerbated by factors such as smoking, failing to brush and floss your teeth and not keeping regular appointments with a dental hygienist. 

Image of Tooth Decay in Auckland

Indications That You Have Tooth Decay


The problem with tooth decay is that in its initial stages, there are usually no obvious signs or symptoms. When the tooth decay becomes severe, you might notice sensitivity, toothache, swollen gums or pain when biting on food. However, your dentist will be able to see early indications of decay during a check-up, providing the opportunity to take action before any of these symptoms have a chance to manifest. 


Treating Tooth Decay


Time is of the essence when it comes to tooth decay. If it is caught in the early stages, it can often be resolved with a simple fluoride treatment. More advanced decay might require removal of the damaged part of the tooth and replacing it with either a filling or a dental crown. If left untreated for too long, the dentist might have to extract the rotten tooth entirely. 

Prevention is Better Than A Cure


Maintaining a good dental hygiene routine is your best weapon in protecting yourself against tooth decay. That means brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day after meals. It is also essential to get your teeth cleaned and descaled by your dentist and hygienist at the recommended intervals. This removes any plaque or tartar build-up. Finally, make sure you have regular check-ups so that the dentist can identify any signs of decay and take action as quickly as possible. 


Are Your Teeth Decaying Speak to A Dentist Today Call (09) 600 2774

Common Questions in Tooth Decay

What Are The Main Causes of Tooth Decay?
Can I Treat Tooth Decay at Home?
What Happens if I Leave a Cavity Untreated?
Can a Dentist Fix Tooth Decay?
What Does Tooth Decay Look Like?