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14 September 2015

More about this common tooth problem.

Here at our Surbiton dentist, we are well known for our high standard of cosmetic dentistry treatments. However, we also provide an excellent standard of general dentistry treatments, including fillings, scale and polish and of course, checkups. When you have a checkup at our surgery, one of the main things we will be looking for is tooth decay.

Tooth decay is a term most people are familiar with and levels of tooth decay have decreased over the last few decades. However, it is still one of the most widespread issues in the country, and a third of adults will have it at some point in their lives. More worryingly, a quarter of all under 5 year olds in the UK have some level of tooth decay.

Tooth decay is an extremely common issue and is caused by acids in your mouth attacking your teeth. It is important to understand tooth decay in order to ensure you can minimise the risk of suffering from it. Although we can provide you with advice about it, check for it and treat you for any damage it has done to your teeth, being aware of the signs and symptoms is a good thing, as it enables you to minimise your risks and help you understand if you need to come and see us in between checkups.

The Symptoms

Tooth decay, if left untreated, may not cause any issues at all until it is advanced. As tooth decay gets worse you may experience:

  • Bad breath
  • A nasty taste in your mouth
  • A heightened sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet food which may hurt or feel sore
  • Toothache
  • Brown, yellow, black or grey patches on your teeth

The Causes

Your mouth naturally has lots of bacteria inside it. When that bacteria combines with tiny pieces of food and saliva, plaque is formed which then sticks to the teeth. Consuming sugary food and drink makes this problem worse. If the plaque builds, the acid then eats into your teeth, first attacking the hard outer parts and eventually the soft middle part.

How To Prevent It

Tooth decay is nearly completely preventable, here’s how:

  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000 ppm
  • Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day
  • Floss between your teeth once a day at least
  • Don’t gargle mouthwash or water after brushing the teeth as this removes any protection provided by the toothpaste. After brushing simply spit the excess toothpaste away
  • Try to minimise the amount of sugary and starchy food and drink you consume
  • Chewing on sugar free chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals could help you produce more saliva which helps reduce plaque build up

When To Come In And See Us

If tooth decay is not treated promptly, it can lead to a multitude of issues, including cavities, gum disease and infections.

If you find you have toothache, it is important you come in and see us at your handy Surbiton dentist regardless of why you think you may have it. Toothache is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. Ignoring toothache could lead to the pain getting worse, the issue getting worse, and your teeth or gums getting damaged irreversibly, which may lead to you requiring invasive general or cosmetic dentistry. If you need to book in for a checkup, or are concerned you may have tooth decay, give us a call on 02083991291 and we will be more than happy to get you booked in.

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