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Tooth Decay Causes

Tooth Decay Causes

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, along with bi-annual visits to the dentist for a routine exam and cleaning are the best methods for preventing tooth decay. It is also a good idea to avoid foods that are high in sugar. Unfortunately, there are other causes of tooth decay for which you will want to stay on the lookout, also.


First of all, the process of tooth decay starts with the bacteria that are already naturally present in your mouth. When the bacteria in your saliva come into contact with food, plaque is created. Plaque is a white sticky substance that clings to your teeth. When the plaque interacts with sugar, acids from the bacteria are created and eat away at your enamel. While this is why it is important to avoid sugar, it is also important to avoid foods that are high in starch. Starch is contained in breads and cereals, and when starch is broken down, it breaks down as sugar.


Additionally, it is important to limit the products that slow down your saliva production. Many people do not realize that antihistamines create a dry mouth. Saliva is important, because it acts as a natural mechanism for cleaning your teeth. While saliva alone is not effective at removing plaque, having limited or no saliva can encourage tooth decay. Decongestants also have the side effect of drying out the mouth. Unfortunately, even anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications have a similar effect.


If tooth decay is not prevented, it will reach into the pulp of your teeth and affect the nerve. At this point, a root canal will become necessary.


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