Sometimes life can get so busy when you are taking care of everybody else that you might often forget how important it is to take care of yourself, too. It isn’t always easy to remember that our mouths are the starting point to fueling our bodies and that regular dental checkups are an integral part of maintaining your health. Think back to what you had for breakfast this morning: was it something sweet? If you run your tongue against your teeth and they feel fuzzy, there’s a likely chance the bacteria are already attacking your precious enamel. We here at Sylvan Heights Dental are dedicated to helping you understand what is going on in your mouth so you can better protect it.
I Have Chalky Spots - Now What Do I Do?
Have you ever noticed chalky white spots on your teeth? Those white, yellow, or brown chalky spots are often the first signs of tooth decay. When these happen often, they can leave you with discolorations around your gum line. If you discover any issues with your teeth, it is easy to assume the worst and use it to justify panicking. That is completely unnecessary. You found the spots, and your awareness of them is quite important. We want you to know what to look out for, and by finding these spots, you did so successfully. The next step is getting your oral health back into shape, and we are happy to help you with that, too.
The first thing that is important is understanding what those spots on your teeth are. Your mouth is full of bacteria, and its favorite food is whatever you just ate – to them, the more sugar, the better. The essential task towards prevention of tooth decay is removing the snacks you just ate from your gum pockets so they cannot have a munch, either. The bits of chalk on your teeth (called plaque) is what the bacteria leave behind after they have had a good meal. If left long term, it begins actually to eat the enamel of your tooth.
What if a cavity has started to form? Even if the decay has progressed to the point where you can see a hole, we can still treat it. When you start to feel pain in your mouth, that means the decay has made it to the center of the tooth, which is where the nerve endings are bundled up. At this point, we certainly can help alleviate your discomfort, but the longer the bacteria are allowed to consume, the greater the likelihood you could lose a tooth. Oral pain is not something you should ever have to go through, either.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
The easiest way to take care of yourself is to simply remove the food from the surface of your teeth after any meal, especially one that makes your mouth feel fuzzy. We recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Work gently to brush along your gum line. Flossing with a dental stick beforehand can also go a long way in extracting trapped food particles that bacteria seem to love. Even simply using a clean rag when there is no other option available can stave off bacterial attacks until you can get to your toothbrush.
Tooth decay does not have to be something you live with. It is easily preventable and scheduling a visit twice a year with us here at Sylvan Heights Dental by calling (503) 388-5882 can help keep any missed buildup cleared away.