BY DR. KHOOBSURAT NAJMA
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay and cavities are among the world’s most common oral health problems. It is most often seen in children, teenagers and older adults.
Tooth decay is caused by a breakdown of the white part of tooth called enamel. Tooth decay usually occurs due to a bacterial infection that causes destruction of the hard tissues in the teeth.
Some common symptoms include toothache, increased tooth sensitivity, mild to sharp pain while eating or drinking, visible holes or pits in the infected teeth, and black or brown stains on the tooth’s surface.
Good Oral Hygiene
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day using fluoride containing toothpaste.
- Use a dental floss to clean between your teeth at least once a day
- Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit junk food.
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings (scaling) and oral examination for early detection of decay
Some Quick Tips:
- Use a fluoride containing toothpaste. Fluoride makes the tooth enamel stronger and less likely to suffer acid damage. It can also reverse the early stages of acid damage by rebuilding areas that have started to decay.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water. Salt is a natural antibacterial agent and helps in removing excess bacteria and restoring oral health.
- Use a chlorhexidine mouthwash for 3-5 weeks to prevent bacterial overgrowth.
- Local application of clove oil, turmeric, tulsi or neem help in relieving toothache.
- Eating raw garlic and amla regularly can also provide pain relief.
- Have sugar-free gum after meals at work. This helps in producing saliva, which neutralizes the acid in your mouth and prevents tooth decay.