A healthy smile is critical to your self-confidence and your overall physical wellbeing. Untreated tooth decay and gum disease can lead to infections in other areas of the body, including your heart and brain.
Best Practices for Preventing Tooth Decay
Practicing good dental hygiene at home is the first step to strong teeth. The second is regular preventive care visits to your Tulsa dentist. However, some people find it challenging to keep up with those biannual appointments.
If you have missed a few dental cleanings, be on the lookout for early signs of tooth decay. See your Tulsa dentist right away if you notice a problem forming.
The Basics of Tooth Decay
Dental plaque is a part of life. As you go about your day, bits of food, saliva, and bacteria combine to create a clear, sticky film on your teeth. The bacteria get to work on breaking through your tooth enamel right away. If plaque builds up, it can harden into tartar, allowing bacteria to hide where your toothbrush can’t reach.
At first, the signs of tooth decay are barely noticeable, but once the bacteria break through your enamel, the pain starts. If you can catch the bacteria and correct the issues at the start of this process, you can keep tooth and gum disease from progressing.
Early Signs of Tooth Decay
As your enamel starts to lose minerals, you might notice white spots on one or more of your teeth. Eventually, that white spot starts to turn brown, which means the problem is getting worse.
Sensitivity to hot and cold indicates the tissue under your enamel is exposed. Swelling or pain is a sign of serious tooth damage. A bad taste in your mouth or chronic bad breath are also common early signs of tooth decay.
You may also notice early signs of gum disease, which can be brought on by plaque that slips below the gumline. In some cases, brushing too hard causes the gums to recede, which speeds decay around the root of your tooth. All of these signs indicate that it is time for professional intervention. Visit your Tulsa dentist without delay.
Protect Your Smile
The best way to protect your smile is through regular preventative care visits with a Tulsa dentist, but if you have fallen behind, don’t worry. Your Tulsa dentist has the experience and expertise necessary to address early signs of tooth decay so you can avoid costly and painful procedures down the road. Visit Howl Dental online to learn more or schedule your appointment.