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Tooth decay is a very common condition, impacting the dental health of millions of Americans every year. Symptoms can vary, depending on the severity of the decay and the affected area. Signs of tooth decay include pain and discomfort when eating, general tooth ache, sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages, and visible holes or stains on teeth. You should visit adentist near Belmont if you are currently suffering from any of these symptoms. Meanwhile, it is important to understand the causes of tooth decay and be aware of the steps you can take to prevent it from developing.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is caused by the build-up of a sticky substance known as plaque. When you eat or drink foods and beverages containing simple starches and sugars, bacteria within the mouth break down some of your food, producing acidic byproducts. The bacteria themselves accumulate on the surface of tooth enamel to form a film of plaque. The acids in the plaque eat away at the tooth enamel, creating small holes through which bacteria can enter the tooth. Eventually, the bacteria penetrate the enamel and spread to the softer, more vulnerable layer of dentine underneath. Finally, the bacteria may reach the inner part of the tooth, known as the pulp.

How Can I Reduce My Risk of Tooth Decay?

Inadequate dental hygiene can lead to the build-up of bacterial plaque. Brush and floss your teeth daily and schedule regular dental checkups. Use a fluoride toothpaste and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. Avoid sipping or snacking on sugary foods and drinks throughout the day. Moderate your consumption of sweet, sticky foods which can adhere to teeth, including candies, toffees, cakes, cookies, dry cereal, and chips. Schedule regular dental check-ups to monitor the health of your teeth. Make sure any prior dental work or restorations are in good condition. Speak to your dentist if you suffer from dry mouth, gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD), or an eating disorder, all of which can increase your risk of tooth decay. With scrupulous dental hygiene, and regular dental visits, you can help prevent tooth decay.