What Causes tooth infection and How to Prevent It!
Tooth infection is caused by bacteria naturally present in the mouth. The bacteria must have a carbohydrate to feed off and multiply. They must also have time to reproduce and start eating away at the enamel.
Carbohydrates include sugars and baked goods. In years past, dentists might have said that eating too much candy caused tooth infection. Now, they talk more about the amount of time the sugar stays on the teeth. In other words, eating the foods is not the problem. The problem is not brushing soon enough after eating meals or snacks.
The sugar in sodas and other beverages can also be food for the bacteria. Many people fail to realize the importance of brushing and rinsing after drinking a soda. The goal is to get the sugar out of your mouth.
Infection can lead to cavities, rotten teeth, bad breath, sensitivity to hot or cold foods, pain and infection in the gums and other soft tissues of the mouth. The infection can lead to serious life-threatening complications. Cavities were a serious health problem prior to the discovery of antibiotics.
Today, the problem is less serious. The infection rarely becomes a life situation. But cavities are still one of the most common diseases in all parts of the world.
Keep on Top of Tooth Infection
Saliva helps protect the enamel. So conditions that cause dry mouth also increase a person's risk of cavities. People with diabetes, for example, tend to have more cavities. Not because they eat more sugary foods, but because they produce less saliva.
Over 60% of all the prescription and non-prescription drugs on the market cause dry mouth as a side effect. Recreational drugs such as alcohol and marijuana also cause decreased production of saliva.
Alcohol consumption is commonplace and may increase the risk of cavities for two reasons. First is the decreased production of saliva. Second is that the bacteria can feed off of the alcohol. A person may fall asleep after having a few drinks and fail to brush or rinse. That gives the bacteria lots of time to grow.
With the techniques available today, rotten teeth can be repaired or replaced. Infections can usually be treated quickly, nearly eliminating the risk of complications.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups further reduce the risk of cavities and the complications. Dental checkups are important, even if you have no symptoms.
Your dentist can identify soft spots that are precursors to tooth infection and cavities.
Tooth loss can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment.
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