There is, perhaps, no more important time in our lives to watch over our oral health than in our youth. The importance of developing good oral health practices is just one reason we need to instill these habits in our children. Our primary, or baby teeth, play a critical role in our lifelong oral health. They help our jaw develop with enough space for our adult teeth to grow safely. In addition, they aid these adult teeth in growing straight.
Steps To Identify Early Development of Tooth Decay
No matter our age, sugar is the single most common underlying cause of tooth decay. We’re all aware that candy, pastries, and soda are problematic treats that can help promote oral health problems. While these are the most obvious sources, they aren’t the only ones. Carbohydrates are another source of problems for our oral health. Carbohydrates are easily converted into sugars, posing the same problems for our oral health. Whether we’re talking about bread, sugars, or high-carb cereals (even those without sugar), they can be a problem. Those individuals most at risk of developing oral health problems include those with:
- high carb or high sugar diets
- poor access to fluoridated water
- insufficient oral hygiene practices
- medications or other conditions that cause dry mouth
- genetic conditions that result in weak enamel or high susceptibility to gum disease
Aside from maintaining proper oral hygiene and dietary practices, vigilance is your best defense against tooth decay. By catching tooth decay early, you can prevent it before it advances. The first sign you may notice would be the appearance of white spots on the enamel. These spots are called “white spot lesions” and are caused by the enamel at the whitened area becoming demineralized. This softens the enamel and is where tooth decay can more easily set in. This process is observable by the white spot darkening and eventually rotting away.
A cavity can occur, and there not be any indicating symptoms. Some patients can have tooth decay to the point it has to be extracted without ever experiencing pain or sensitivity. This isn’t common, but it’s not unheard of. This is why we must maintain regular dental visits at least twice a year. During these visits, our dentists can assess our oral health and take steps to reverse any concerns they encounter.
Working With Your Dentist To Prevent Tooth Decay
Your dentist spends every day seeing patients who have problems with oral health. Each of these cases is unique, making them experts in identifying tooth decay as early as possible. If you’re experiencing dental sensitivity or pain or are just wanting to remain vigilant, schedule an appointment today. They’ll ensure you get a thorough oral health exam and check for any potential problems. They have a variety of treatment approaches to help address any concerns they encounter. Even when no concerns are found, they’ll take extra care to perform a thorough professional dental cleaning to keep your teeth looking their best.