Tooth Decay Prevention

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Tooth Decay Prevention Tips

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is the most prevalent and preventable chronic disease in children and adults today. Tooth decay is typically symptomless until there’s already a cavity, and it can lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss if left untreated. That’s why we make prevention of tooth decay your dental plan’s primary focus.
Comparison of health gum tissue and inflamed gum tissue

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Tooth decay occurs when the mouth’s naturally occurring, harmful bacteria combine with the sugars from food, producing acids. Over time, the acids eat away at your tooth’s enamel, causing decay and eventually cavities. If you have a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates, drink from a water source that does not contain fluoride, or suffer from reduced salivary flow, you may be at risk for decay. Young children are at higher risk for decay than adults.

Our professionals understand that finding a dentist you have confidence in is key to maintaining a healthy smile, because successful preventive care requires good oral hygiene practices at home and routine visits to the dentist. So we put extra effort and time into forming a long-term, trust-based relationship with all of our patients.

The following are steps you can take to prevent tooth decay and improve your overall oral health.

1. Eat healthy foods that are low in sugar
2. Brush and floss a minimum of two times each day
3. Use a mouthwash or rinse regularly
4. Schedule routine visits and cleanings
5. Consider having regular fluoride treatments, especially if you don’t get fluoride in your drinking water
6. Have dental sealants applied to your back teeth if they are free of fillings and decay. Dental sealants are especially effective at protecting children’s teeth.

FAQ

What is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess is an infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gum as a result of severe tooth-decay trauma. Signs that you may have a tooth abscess include fever, tooth pain/sensitivity, bad breath, swollen glands, swelling in the gums or upper or lower jaw, and open sores.
Is tooth pain a sign of tooth decay?
Tooth pain can be a sign of tooth decay or other oral health issues. If you are experiencing tooth pain, you should contact Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry and have it diagnosed immediately.
Is tooth extraction necessary if you have tooth decay?
Tooth extraction may become necessary in severe cases of tooth decay. Extraction will only be considered after every possible avenue that preserves the tooth is exhausted. To learn more about our tooth extraction process, click here
Call 253.200.5427 to schedule your routine exam and cleaning in Puyallup, WA or to find out more about tooth decay and prevention. We look forward to partnering with you in your smile’s lifelong care and maintenance.