- Rotten teeth, or dental caries, are caused by bacteria breaking down tooth enamel and can lead to infections.
- Poor oral hygiene, malnutrition, and certain medications can cause tooth decay.
- Tooth decay prevention methods include tooth extraction, fluoride treatments, dental fillings, sealants, and maintaining good oral hygiene.
- When a tooth is beyond repair, it may be extracted and replaced with bridges, dentures, or dental implants.
- Proper oral hygiene is vital, such as brushing and flossing twice daily, regular dentist visits, and limiting sugary and acidic foods.
Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. A healthy white smile is an asset, and on the other hand, rotten teeth can take away your confidence. So, what causes rotten teeth? Here’s what you need to know about rotten teeth, its leading reasons, and how to prevent it.
What’s Rotten Teeth?
Rotten teeth, also known as dental caries or tooth decay, result from bacteria breaking down the enamel and dentin of the tooth. It affects more than 30% of young and middle-aged adults. When left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the mouth and cause infections which require root canal treatment.
What Causes Rotten Teeth?
There are various reasons for rotten teeth. Here are some of them:
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
Not brushing and flossing daily, plus not visiting the dentist for regular check-ups, can lead to dental problems. Plaque and tartar buildup on teeth can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay and gum infections lead to rotting teeth and eventual tooth loss. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist twice a year.
2. Sugar and Acidic Foods
Sugary and acidic foods contribute to tooth decay and erosion. Harmful bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar in food, producing acid that destroys the enamel that protects your teeth. Highly acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, juices, soft drinks, and vinegar, erode tooth enamel over time. Limiting your consumption of these foods and drinks can prevent tooth decay and erosion.
Smoking is harmful to your health in many ways and is also responsible for causing rotten teeth. Tobacco use causes a dry mouth, which means less saliva to wash away food particles, plaque, and bacteria. Nicotine also restricts blood flow to the gums, making it difficult for them to heal from infections, leading to gum disease and tooth loss.
4. Malnutrition and Vitamin Deficiencies
Our teeth require nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D to remain healthy. A lack of these essential nutrients can weaken the teeth and cause cavities. A deficiency in vitamin C can also lead to gum disease. To maintain healthy teeth, include a diet rich in calcium, vitamins D and C, and other nutrients such as protein, fruits, and vegetables.
Certain medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs can cause dry mouth, which leads to tooth decay. Radiation therapy for cancer patients can also contribute to oral health problems. If you are on medication, let your dentist know so he or she can tailor dental treatment to your specific needs.
Thankfully, there are various ways to prevent dental caries from happening. Here are five of them:
Once a tooth is infected beyond repair, the dentist may extract it. Extraction is an irreversible way to prevent pain and infection. However, this tooth must get replaced immediately.
Open gaps between your teeth can be home to bacteria and viruses, which can spread to other teeth. You can contact a local tooth replacement service for this. They will offer various replacement options, such as bridges, dentures, and dental implants.
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the enamel, making it difficult for bacteria to penetrate it. Professional fluoride treatments involve your dentist applying fluoride gel directly on your teeth. Your dentist can also prescribe toothpaste or mouth rinses that contain fluoride for everyday use.
Dental fillings are used to repair cavities and prevent further decay. The dentist will drill out the decayed part of the tooth and replace it with a composite material or metal filling.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coats placed over the teeth’ grooves to create a protective shield against decay. Sealants are a barrier between food particles and bacteria, preventing tooth decay.
Good Oral Hygiene
Having good oral hygiene practices is essential for keeping your teeth healthy. Brush and floss at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, visit your dentist regularly and limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods.
With these preventive measures, you can enjoy a healthy white smile for life! By taking care of your teeth now, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of dental health. Practicing proper oral hygiene is one of the best ways to keep our teeth in top condition. So, don’t forget to brush twice a day and floss regularly, so your smile will stay beautiful for years.