Why Do I Have a Decaying Tooth and What Can I Do About It?

Person hurting due to a decaying tooth

Every patient is different, and Westchase Smiles Institute does its best to understand each patient’s story. They strive to save each decaying tooth and restore its structural integrity and appearance.

In nearly all cases, however, patients can improve their oral health and often save their teeth from extraction by addressing the primary cause of decaying teeth.

The Westchase Smiles Institute remains an established provider of emergency dental services in Tampa, FL. The professional staff has treated many cases of tooth decay, or dental caries, in patients of all ages. This post aims to explain the causes of cavities to educate the community about the importance of healthy teeth.

Try each of the following tips to strengthen your teeth. For more information about the causes and symptoms of tooth decay, see the Mayo Clinic’s article.

Have Regular Professional Cleanings

Having professional cleanings once or twice a year is an important step in keeping teeth free of tartar, plaque, and other threats to dental health. Periodic x-rays help the dentist identify each decaying tooth and develop a treatment plan before the patient requires invasive treatments such as a root canal.

Avoid Acidic and Sugary Food and Drink

The food you eat can weaken tooth enamel in one of two ways. First, sugars in the food provide an energy source for bacteria, allowing them to proliferate on the teeth and gums. Acids in food, along with waste products that bacteria release, dissolve enamel. 

If you drink sugary or acidic drinks, use a straw and avoid swishing the liquid in your mouth. This action will limit the amount of sugar and acid that reaches the decaying tooth.

Protect Enamel

Once tooth enamel is gone, modern dentistry cannot restore it. The dentist has to drill away the decaying enamel and replace it with a filling or crown.

However, modern mouthwashes and toothpaste can help restore and salvage the remaining enamel on a decaying tooth. Use enamel-restoring products regularly to defend your teeth against decay.

Brush and Floss Teeth Effectively

People with advanced tooth decay often develop the condition because they have not used proper brushing techniques.

Brushing teeth with a new toothbrush and using the correct technique for at least two minutes after every meal remains one of the most important habits for good dental hygiene. Use fluoride toothpaste and drink fluoridated tap water.

Spotting Decaying Teeth in Children

Just because a child’s permanent teeth have not yet erupted does not mean you can overlook their dental care. Watch for white spots on your child’s teeth, which could indicate a decaying tooth. Dental sealants protect children’s teeth against decay while they learn proper oral hygiene.

Get Fillings and Professional Cleaning at the Westchase Smiles Institute

The Westchase Smiles Institute ranks as the premier source for dental care in Tampa, FL. Don’t wait until you or your child has a decaying tooth to seek top-quality dental care. Call to make an appointment today. 

If you prefer to speak to a team member please call (813) 920-9144

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Rachel Manzanares
Rachel Manzanares
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My father was in town for my sister's wedding and had one of his front fillings come out two days before the wedding. Dr. Cesar Chilmaza was able to get him last minute and did an amazing job. My father said that he did a better job fixing it than the original filling! Not only did he do a great job, he and his staff we so friendly and knowledgeable and did everything in their power to help take care of him. Thanks to Dr. Cesar my sister's wedding photos won't be a disaster!
Sheryl Hoffman
Sheryl Hoffman
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Cesar is amazingly kind and patient with my endless questions. I'm ridiculously terrified of the dentist and they somehow understand my fears while gently coaxing me to follow the treatment plan they recommend. They're also open evenings for those of us still working. Simply put, they're quite delightful!
Blakley Ann
Blakley Ann
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I highly recommend Westchase Smiles Institute. Dr. C is an amazing dentist who cares about his patients. The staff is welcoming and treats you like family.