The American Dental Association (ADA) describes tooth decay as damage to the hard, outer layer or enamel of the tooth. Cavities also called carries can result in tooth decay if they are not treated early by a professional dentist at Gage Dental Care. Teeth are as vulnerable to decay in adults as they are in children and teenagers, even though adult teeth are permanent and stronger. Here are 4 main causes of tooth decay and loss in adults.
1. Consuming too many sugary snacks
Sugary snacks and beverages are major contributors to tooth decay in adults. Snacks such as caramel, chewing gum, and candy, as well as sodas and sports drinks, deposit excess sugar on the teeth. Sugar attracts bad bacteria which release acid while feeding on sugar. The acid, sugar, trapped food particles, and saliva stick together to form a creamy substance called plaque. The longer plaque stays on the tooth surface, the more it breaks down and poke holes in the tooth's enamel. This is how cavities form leading to tooth decay and tooth loss.
2. Poor oral hygiene
Tooth decay and tooth loss occur from poor oral care. To maintain healthy teeth and gum, adults are required to brush their teeth at least twice daily, preferably after meals and before bedtime. Brush your teeth using a soft bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste. Next, clean in between the teeth and beneath the gum line with an interdental cleaner, e.g., floss threader or water flosser. Flossing is recommended once a day. Finish by rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.
3. Skipping regular dental checkups
Good oral care also involves a plan to visit your dentist regularly. It is especially important since carries can form and show symptoms, e,g., pain or sensitivity, only after advanced decay starts affecting the tooth nerve. The ADA recommends that adults have dental checkups at least once every 6 months. Certain people, such as those with braces may need to see the dentist more regularly. During these checkups, your dentist will examine and clean the teeth and gum and check for signs of tooth decay, gingivitis, gum disease, abscess, loose tooth, and other abnormalities.
4. Snacking before bedtime
Bacteria feast on sugar on the teeth of adults who snack or sip on sugary beverages then head to bed without brushing. Bacterial activity will likely occur for about 6-8 hours during sleep and cause plaque to quickly form. Habitually doing this exposes the teeth to plaque and tartar buildup, cavities, gum infection, periodontitis, or tooth loss. To avoid these dental problems, brush after dinner and immediately before bedtime.
Get professional dental treatment at Gage Dental Care
The general and family dentists at Gage Dental Care in Bell, CA, are all too familiar with the causes of adult tooth decay and tooth loss. Our goal is to help you maintain good oral health to minimize tooth decay and tooth loss. The dentist will examine your teeth and gum thoroughly and recommend the right treatment to stop decay and prevent tooth loss. Treatment could include dental fillings or a root canal. Loose or damaged teeth can be replaced with dental bridges or implants. Just give us a call today to book a consultation.