Risk Factors of Tooth Decay

risk of tooth decay

risk of tooth decaySan Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

Nearly everyone will deal with tooth decay at some point in his or her life. Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria, which help create areas of decay called cavities. These cavities are the “homes” of an infectious disease called dental caries, which is the most common infectious disease in the world today affecting children’s health. The presence of tooth decay in your mouth, and the extent to which it occurs depends on certain factors. Even if you maintain good habits of dental hygiene, including brushing and flossing daily, that will not provide foolproof protection against tooth decay. Your San Francisco dentists at Glen Park Dental want you to know about all of the risk factors involved when considering what causes tooth decay, what you can do to minimize your risk, and what can happen to your teeth due to decay and cavities.

Know the risk factors for tooth decay

Having a healthy oral care routine at home is extremely important but it may not be enough to protect you from tooth decay. Your diet can affect the health of your teeth. Other influencing factors within your mouth include the mineral composition and hardness of your enamel, your saliva’s natural ability to neutralize and buffer acid-producing bacteria, and the amount of tooth decay-causing bacteria you possess naturally in your mouth.

How your Bay Area dentists can combat tooth decay

Your dentists in Oakland at Glen Park Dental can use any of the following treatments and strategies to help you combat tooth decay:

  • Apply dental sealants, which can be placed on the entire visible surface of teeth as a barrier against tooth decay.
  • Change your at-home care routine. You can start using a specialized oral rinse, which will reduce the number of caries-forming bacteria, or make adjustments to your diet to better the health of your teeth.
  • Using sugar-free lollipops and chewing gums can increase the flow of saliva, a natural way your mouth keeps itself clean and destroys cavity-causing bacteria. Many brands of chewing gum also include Xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener that inhibits the growth of the bacteria that lead to cavities. Xylitol also lowers acid levels in the mouth, as acidity can deteriorate tooth enamel.
  • You can receive treatments that apply additional minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate to your teeth to strengthen dental enamel.

Talk to your dentist at Glen Park Dental, who can put together a customized plan of home care for you.

Know the consequences of untreated tooth decay

The acid-producing bacteria eventually will reach the nerve and blood supply of your tooth, causing an infection that can threaten your tooth and even your life if the infection filters into the bloodstream. A tooth badly damaged by decay also could cause severe pain that can affect eating and chewing. Treatments on this tooth could be intensive, such as a root canal. You even may need to have a decayed tooth removed via extraction. Therefore, it is best to have areas of decay treated as soon as they are discovered instead of ignoring the problem.

Treating tooth decay in San Francisco

There is no positive outcome if you are ignoring your tooth decay troubles. At Glen Park Dental we want to help you repair cavities and areas of tooth decay in a timely and efficient manner. Your teeth will not naturally heal themselves, and you need them to maintain a healthy appearance, your self-confidence, and your chewing ability. Tooth decay is an issue that plagues the teeth of children as well as adults. Please consider our services in order to maintain a healthy balanced life. Here at Glen Park Dental, we can consult you on what would be the best options for your daily needs, as well as any immediate treatments to stop your tooth decay before it worsens. Contact us today at (415) 585-1500 for all of your dental needs.

Glen Park Dental is here to care for patients in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.