Almost every New Yorker gets tooth decay at some point during their adult years. Brushing and flossing alone can’t cure tooth decay. Seek the services of a painless dentist in Manhattan for tooth decay treatment. The earlier decay is detected, the easier it is to remove from your teeth. Protect your teeth and gums; contact Sohosmile to get the best care and a winning smile.
Tooth decay is a common dental health problem in the U.S. About 92 percent of American adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have experienced some tooth decay. Around 27 percent of these adults haven’t even sought treatment. Untreated tooth decay can lead to damaged and missing teeth, as well as infection that can spread throughout your body.
Initial tooth decay leads to dental caries, when a hole forms in your tooth. The main cause is plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky substance that results from bacteria breaking down food particles, especially sugar and starch, on your teeth. When plaque hardens, it turns into tartar, which locks the acid to the tooth. Regular cleaning by a dental team like Dr. John Koutsoyiannis and his staff at Sohosmile New York City is the only way to help prevent problems like tooth decay from occurring.
How Serious Tooth Decay Can Become
Tooth decay and dental cavities permanently damage the hard surface of enamel on your teeth. Tiny holes begin to form in the tooth surface. In time, these holes reach the dentin layer below, leading to deeper cavities and eventually, pain.
If left untreated, decayed holes can penetrate all the way to the nerve endings and blood vessels in the pulp of the tooth. This can lead to a severe toothache, an abscess, an infection and ultimately the loss of your tooth. Regular, twice-a-year dental checkups make sure cavities never become so severe.
You may not even be aware you have cavities. Initially, they’re so small that they cause no tooth problems or pain. But as the cavities increase in size, you start feeling minor inconveniences that lead to serious tooth problems, such as:
- Sudden toothache
- Sensitivity to cold or hot drinks
- Severe pain while eating sweet things
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown, black or white staining on the tooth surface
- Pain while biting
- Chewing problems
Root Causes of Tooth Decay
The main source of tooth decay is the food left in your mouth. Eating certain foods — like milk, ice cream, soda, sugar, honey, dried fruits, cake, cookies, hard candy, dry cereal and chips — can all cause tooth caries. Eating and drinking frequently between meals, especially if the food or drink contains sugar, can damage your teeth over time.
Before you schedule a checkup, recognize the conditions that cause decay to worsen and report any you notice to your dental team. These conditions include:
- Dry mouth, as your saliva has natural anti-decay properties
- Certain medications
- Damaged or worn dental work
- Dentures that irritate your teeth
- Acid reflux
- Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia
Preventive Measures You Can Take
The age-old advice to brush your teeth every day helps enormously to deter tooth decay. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. And make sure to use the proper technique to clean your teeth. Ask about the right way to brush your teeth; it can make a difference for maintaining your dental health.
Flossing is also necessary to combat tooth decay and keep your gums healthy. Food particles get stuck between your teeth, where the bristles of your toothbrush can’t reach. The back-and-forth movement of flossing dislodges the food particles, preventing plaque from forming.
Another good habit to get into is rinsing with a dentist-approved mouthwash once a day. It not only rinses food particles from your mouth; it also freshens your breath. The best cosmetic dentist in Manhattan Dr. John will give you his mouthwash recommendations if you ask for them.
Professional Tooth Decay Treatment
After a complete checkup of your teeth and gums, your SoHo dentist knows the steps to take to cure tooth decay. Your tooth decay treatment depends on how extensive the damage is to your teeth. The earlier decay is discovered, the easier and less invasive your treatments will be. Tooth decay treatments include: