How to stop tooth decay from spreading? What are the causes? What are the symptoms? Should I make an appointment with my dentist at the first sign of tooth decay? Is tooth decay a real health hazard? And finally, what can you do to prevent tooth decay from getting worse?
I. What Is Tooth Decay and Cavity?
Tooth decay is the most frequent dental pathology, which manifests itself in a cavity in the tooth, a more or less important hollow.
Tooth decay is caused by bacterial propagation in the area of the tooth, often due to sweets. In some cases, tooth extraction is necessary in case of tooth decay.
Generally, especially in the early stages, tooth decay can be healed very easily. However, in some cases, tooth extraction is necessary in case of advanced tooth decay.
II. Causes of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is usually caused by the consumption of refined sugars. These are found in sweets such as chocolates, as well as in sodas.
When combined with sweets, if dental hygiene is not optimal, you risk getting tooth decay. But it is important to know that there are people who are particularly susceptible to cavities for no apparent reason.
III. Symptoms of Tooth Decay
1. Pain when chewing food
One of the most common signs of tooth decay is pain. You may feel pain especially while chewing your food.
The pressure on the tooth or teeth can affect the nerve exposed by the cavity, causing discomfort.
2. Hole in the Tooth
A hole in the tooth or cavity is another sign of tooth decay. Tooth decay is often associated with a hole in the tooth, but you can have a cavity without having this type of symptom. It all depends on the stage of development of the disease.
When you have tooth decay, the affected teeth are painful. They can be painful during chewing, but also at the slightest impact.
For example, if you have tooth decay, a simple pressure on your cheek may cause pain.
4. Tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is common with tooth decay. You notice that drinking ice or hot tea almost immediately irritates your tooth.
Teeth affected by tooth decay are often sensitive to hot and cold because they are less protected by the enamel.
5. Stains on the tooth
The tooth affected by tooth decay usually has brown stains, which are signs of bacterial presence.
Bacteria attack the tooth, and it is their evolution that manifests itself in the stains on the teeth.
IV. How to Stop Tooth Decay from Spreading at the Dentist
If your dentist diagnoses you with tooth decay, he or she will begin by cleaning your tooth to remove the bacteria and microbes that are responsible.
It is also possible if the decay has caused a hole in the tooth, that a filling material will be installed to fill the gap. The filling is placed only after the cavity has been cleaned to prevent re-infection.
It should be noted that the dentist has many technical means to diagnose the slightest dental infection and repair it before it is too late.
It is strongly advised to visit the dentist every six months to make a complete assessment of the state of your teeth.
V. How to Stop Tooth Decay from Spreading at Home
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency has been identified as one of the secondary causes of tooth decay. It is important to know that vitamin D is involved in the mineralization of the tooth, so low vitamin D levels make the tooth more fragile.
Taking extra vitamin D is a good way to prevent the spread of tooth decay.
2. Fluoride toothpaste
Toothpaste with fluoride is very useful to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride works on the teeth by strengthening them.
Not only is tooth enamel stronger with daily use of fluoride, but this compound also protects against acid attacks.
It should be noted that some people consider the fluoride in toothpaste to be a harmful endocrine disruptor.
3. Coconut Mouthwash
Coconut oil mouthwash is a grandmother’s remedy to help your teeth and mouth enjoy the benefits of coconut oil.
You can put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and use it as a mouthwash for just under ten minutes before spitting.
4. Licorice root
Licorice root has antibacterial properties that make it an excellent food for fighting tooth decay.
Chewing licorice root helps to get rid of plaque, as well as naturally whiten teeth.
5. Eat foods with natural probiotics
Probiotics help keep your teeth healthy. These are the “good bacteria” that help maintain the neutral pH of the mouth. Some researchers have come to conclusions in this regard.
There are products containing probiotics that you can consume, such as certain yogurts or kombucha.
VI. Are there any dangers in not treating tooth decay?
Tooth decay is a disease, and there are always dangers in neglecting a condition. If you do not make efforts to treat the cavity, you may lose your teeth.
The decayed tooth could even infect other teeth. The bacterial infection can even spread to other organs such as the brain, which is directly connected to the jaws with certain nerves.
Leaving tooth decay untreated is like putting yourself in unnecessary danger. But there are several simple ways to avoid it.
And brushing your teeth daily, 2 to 3 times a day, can reduce the risk of cavities by almost 90% for most people.
VII. How to Prevent Tooth Decay from Getting Worse
1. Dental hygiene
To prevent tooth decay from getting worse, the first thing to do is to take care of your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and don’t forget to use floss between your teeth. It’s also important to use mouthwash daily.
2. Mouthwash with Salt Water
Saltwater mouthwash is highly recommended to prevent cavities from getting worse. All you have to do is put a spoonful of salt in a glass of water. With this mixture, gargle for a few minutes after each brushing.
3. To chew gum
Chew mostly sugar-free chewing gum. When you chew gum, you secrete saliva and saliva is a natural cleanser.
It eliminates bacteria and microbes in the mouth.
4. Avoid industrial sugars
Industrial sugars are one of the primary causes of tooth decay. To fight them, it is important to avoid consuming them.
So, if you have cavities, reduce your consumption of sodas, sweets, or pastries. Turn to fruits and vegetables instead.
Getting rid of the evil of the century, industrial sugar means getting rid of a good half of common diseases, including tooth decay.
5. Must drink lots of water
Drinking water and staying hydrated is a plus when you have tooth decay. Saliva plays a big role in keeping your mouth healthy.
To do this, you need to avoid having a dry mouth, even more so when you have a cavity. By drinking water, you contribute to the production of saliva.
6. Use fluoride
Fluoride is found in some toothpaste, as well as in drinks. By using fluoride, you keep your mouth and teeth in better condition.
Fluoride’s properties on the health of teeth are well known. This compound helps to strengthen teeth.
7. Regular dentist visit
You can only keep your teeth clean if you visit your dentist regularly. At least one visit a year will allow you to have your teeth professionally scaled, thus reducing the risk of cavities and gingivitis.
VIII. Other questions about tooth decay spreading
1. Can you remove tooth decay yourself?
Fluoride toothpaste and fluoride in mouthwash are excellent ways to fight tooth decay on your own.
You can also eat foods like cheese, which are rich in calcium. But getting rid of a cavity depends on how advanced it is. And the real solution is to visit the dentist.
2. What are the stages of tooth decay?
In the first stage of a cavity, there are stains on the teeth. Next, the enamel is attacked, then the dentin.
In stage 4, the decay has reached the pulp and in stage 5, an abscess forms. The tooth is definitively lost at stage 6, and we speak of dental necrosis.
3. When is it too late to save your teeth?
When decay reaches the pulp, it is called pulpitis or toothache. At this stage, it is not always possible to save the affected tooth.
Usually, the tooth must be devitalized and a crown placed.
4. Can baking soda remove cavities?
Baking soda is often used to fight stains on teeth and clean the mouth. It is indeed able to contribute a lot to dental health, but it depends on the stage of the decay.
In addition, the abrasive side of baking soda can be a danger to tooth enamel.
5. How to heal a deep cavity?
The healing of the cavity depends on its stage of progress. After an x-ray, the dentist will know if it is possible to save the pulp by placing an amalgam, or if it is too late for that. If it is too late, the dentist can, for example, devitalize the tooth.
6. How long can you have a tooth infection before it kills you?
It is important to know that tooth decay develops quite quickly. It only takes 6 months for a cavity to go from stage 1 to stage 3.
Cavities become a real health hazard when the bacteria start to spread throughout the body. This can happen within a year or later, and you could end up with sepsis.