You call it a cavity. Your dentist calls it tooth decay or dental caries. They’re all names for a hole in your tooth. The cause of tooth decay is plaque, a sticky substance in your mouth made up mostly of germs. Tooth decay starts in the outer layer, called the enamel. Without a filling, the decay can get deep into the tooth and its nerves and cause a toothache or abscess.
To help prevent cavities
Brush your teeth every day with a fluoride toothpaste
Clean between your teeth every day with floss or another type of between-the-teeth cleaner
Snack smart – limit sugary snacks
See your dentist or oral health professional regularly
Who doesn’t want a perfect smile? While few people have one naturally, almost anyone can get one with the help of their dentist. In addition to orthodontic treatment, which can straighten your teeth, recent advances in dental materials and techniques offer near-perfect teeth that are almost as strong as the originals.
Things your dentist can do to improve your smile include
Bleaching to make teeth whiter
Repairing chips or rough spots with fillings that match your teeth
Bleeding gums can be a sign that you are at risk for, or already have, gum disease. However, persistent gum bleeding may be due to serious medical conditions such as leukemia and bleeding and platelet disorders.
It is important to follow the instructions from your dentist in order to maintain healthy gums. Improper brushing and flossing technique may actually irritate or traumatize the gum tissue.
Bleeding gums are mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line. This will lead to a condition called gingivitis, or inflamed gums.
If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and dental appointments, it will harden into what is known as tartar. Ultimately, this will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and jawbone disease known as periodontitis.
Visit the dentist at least once every 6 months for plaque removal. Follow your dentist’s home care instructions.
You should brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush after every meal. The dentist may recommend rinsing with salt water or hydrogen peroxide and water. Avoid using commercial, alcohol-containing mouthwashes, which aggravate the problem.
Flossing teeth twice a day can prevent plaque from building up. Avoiding snacking between meals and reducing carbohydrates can also help. Follow a balanced, healthy diet.
Avoid the use of tobacco, which aggravates bleeding gums.
Control gum bleeding by applying pressure directly on the gums with a gauze pad soaked in ice water.
If you have been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency, take recommended vitamin supplements.
Avoid aspirin unless your health care provider has recommended that you take it.
If side effects of medication are irritating, ask your doctor to recommend another medication. Never change your medication without consulting your doctor.
Use an oral irrigation device on the low setting to massage the gums.
See your dentist if your dentures do not fit correctly or if they are causing sore spots in your gums.