Our patients in Baton Rouge, LA have lost teeth for a variety of reasons – taking a hit to the mouth by a baseball, a depleted jawbone, and more – but one of the more common reasons that’s on the rise is tooth decay. Also known as cavities, this condition is often associated with children who had too much juice or candy on Halloween. However, adults are just as vulnerable to this kind of decay without proper oral health care.
But how is tooth decay caused? When you eat, there are bacteria in your mouth that consume the food particles that are left over. As they eat these food particles, they dispel acid that eats away at the enamel. The layers that it eats through are the enamel, the white outer shell; the dentin, a mineral layer; and lastly the pulp, the soft tissued center filled with nerves and blood vessels. As the tooth decay descends into the pulp, this is where the pain and sensitivity can occur. At Barksdale Dentistry, we’ll explain the causes and warning signs of tooth decay, but also offer quality tooth replacement treatments such as dental implants.
Causes of Tooth Decay
If the extent of the tooth decay is caught early, it can usually be remedied with tooth-colored fillings or a root canal. However, if the damage is too great, Dr. John Barksdale may recommend that the tooth be removed.
But before we get to that level, we want to help you keep that tooth decay at bay. Below are a few common causes for tooth decay and what you can do to improve your habits.
Poor Oral Care – As obvious as it seems, not keeping up your daily regimen can only hurt you. Since bacteria thrive on the food particles left over in your mouth, it’s pertinent that you brush at least twice a day. Start using your floss liberally as well, as the toothbrush can’t always reach between your teeth and into your gums.
High Sugar or Carbohydrate Foods – The food that sustains the bacteria most are foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates. As the bacteria consume these, they dispel the acid that often forms plaque and erodes away the enamel.
Lack of Saliva – Saliva is a vital element to your oral health, as it’s the substance that washes away the leftover crumbs and food particles in your mouth while and after you eat. A lack of saliva, also known as “dry mouth”, can indicate that you don’t drink enough fluids. It could also be a sign of other conditions, so pay a visit to your dentist or doctor to get a diagnosis.
Lack of Fluoride – Fluoride helps keep your mouth clean and is resistant to acids, but we don’t recommend a large amount of fluoride. Typically, your tap water already has a harmless amount of fluoride.
Smoking or Secondhand Smoke – Tobacco is harmful to your mouth, but many patients may not know that even secondhand smoke can cause damage after a prolonged period.
Avoiding the Dentist – Overall, one thing to maintain is to keep going to the dentist, especially here at Barksdale Dentistry in Baton Rouge, LA. By not doing your regular checkups, plaque can build up on your teeth and accelerate the progress of tooth decay.
How Dental Implants Can Help
At our office, we offer varied options of quality tooth replacement treatments for our patients. Dental implants for patients in Baton Rouge are a highly recommended smile restoration treatment. They not only look and feel as natural as real teeth, but have a bonus of improving your oral health as well.
When a dental implant is embedded into the jawbone, a process known as osseointegration begins to take place. The implant is constructed from titanium, which is bio-compatible with the jawbone. This triggers the bone to regenerate and weave fibers around the implant to form a strong bond. During this regeneration, it effectively plugs the area from tooth decay and other forms of periodontal disease as well.
Each dental implant is carefully customized to fit comfortably in your mouth like a native tooth. Even more so, the porcelain crown that is capped on top can be shaped and stained to imitate your neighboring teeth to an unrecognizable degree.
Warning Signs of Tooth Decay
If you suspect that a dark spot on your tooth or a bit of sensitivity may be a sign of emerging tooth decay, take a look at our list below for some common warning signs. However, self-diagnosing is not 100% reliable, so don’t forget to pay us a visit at Barksdale Dentistry to see if your teeth are at risk.
- Toothaches and tooth sensitivity
- Swelling near a sore tooth
- Frequent bad breath or bad tastes on your tongue
- Cracks and crevices forming in your tooth
- Discoloration or dark spots on your teeth
Treat Your Tooth Decay Today
At Barksdale Dentistry in Baton Rouge, LA, we proudly accept new and current patients in and around the area. If you’ve lost one or more teeth recently or are at risk of losing a tooth to tooth decay, pay us a visit and contact us for a consultation. Dr. John Barksdale will evaluate the state of your oral health and tooth decay, discuss your treatment options in preparation, and ultimately help determine if dental implants are best for you.