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WFMY News: Keep cavity free by preventing tooth decay

Greensboro, NC: What causes tooth decay

Bacteria in our mouth thrive on food particles left on teeth, forming a soft sticky film called plaque.

Bacteria in plaque use the sugar and starch in what you eat and drink to make acids. The acids begin to eat away at the minerals on your enamel.

Acid-producing bacteria destroy tooth enamel and can lead to cavities.

Over time, the enamel is weakened and destroyed, forming a cavity.

Signs of tooth decay

  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Toothache
  • Bad breath
  • Grey, brown or black spots appearing on teeth
  • Pain when biting
  • Mild or sharp pain while drinking something hot or cold

Does tooth decay affect all ages? 

Yes, cavities can affect and cause problems for children, teens, and adults.

Tips for Preventing tooth decay

  • Avoid sugary foods and beverages like soda and juice
  • Drink water throughout the day.
  • Eat a nutritious well-balanced diet and limit snacking on unhealthy foods.
  • Brush and floss twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Discuss preventive care options with your dentist.
  • In many cases, especially for children, dental sealants may be helpful in minimizing the chances of tooth decay.
  • Dental sealants are thin coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) that can prevent cavities for many years.

Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
Source: WFMY News