Health Female Adda
11 months ago
6 causes of toothache and cavities (and it’s not just your love for chocolates)

Anyone who has had to suffer from a toothache knows that no other pain comes anywhere close. What makes it worse is that the aching tooth is situated in your mouth and the head region is dense with nerves, which increases your pain sensitivity. One of the major causes of toothaches is tooth decay, which causes cavities or dental caries and the reasons go beyond just chocolates and sugary treats. The problem is avoidable if you pay a little attention towards your oral health, according to dentist Dr Nandakumar. On Toothache Day, the doctor lists down 6 causes of cavities. So take note!

1 Improper brushing

Although this goes without saying, poor dental health is the biggest contributor of tooth decay. If you treat brushing like a morning ritual and do a shoddy job at it, don’t be surprised when you develop a cavity or two. You may miss out on the nooks and crannies of your mouth and cause all the debris to pile on your teeth if you don’t brush properly. Dr Nandakumar recommends that you take your time and thoroughly clean every corner of your mouth every time you brush. Here are important dental care tips from a dentist

2 Junk food

Feasting on burgers, pizzas, soda and candies may sound tempting. But the free sugars and refined flour that goes into making these foods are a nightmare for your dental health. “Sugar feeds the bacteria that secrete acids as a by-product. This acid has an erosive effect on your teeth, causing your dental enamel to erode and form caries,” Dr Nandakumar says. Can overbrushing be bad for your teeth?

3 Night time dental care

In theory, you are supposed to brush your teeth twice a day. At least, that’s what has been preached to us since childhood. But in reality, people take night time oral hygiene very lightly. “During sleep, the mouth remains shut for close to ten hours, leaving ample time for the bacteria to develop inside the mouth. That’s why it is important to brush before bedtime since it eliminates cavity-causing debris and bacterial build-up,” the doctor adds.

4 Not brushing after breakfast

What’s more important than brushing first thing in the morning? Here’s a shocker: Brushing after breakfast. Dr Nandakumar stresses on the importance of postprandial brushing or brushing after you have breakfast. Not rinsing or brushing after meals causes the food to remain lodged in your teeth for the entire day. That’s how oral problems like halitosis and cavities get worse.

5 Cough syrups

Here’s a shocker. Cough syrups are one of the greatest causes of tooth decay, especially in children. “Medicated cough syrups are loaded with sugars such as high fructose corn syrup and citric acid, which can remain on the tooth and contribute to bacterial overgrowth,” he says. Most people also have the habit of having cough syrups before bedtime due to its sleep-inducing effects, leaving the remnants of the syrup in the mouth for around 10 hours.

6 Lack of fibre in diet 

Dr Nandakumar points out that Indian food is mostly carb rich. The dearth of fibre-rich foods like fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet contributes towards tooth decay and cavities. “Carb-rich soft foods like rice and chapati have the tendency to get stuck on teeth, whereas fibrous strands in foods like apples, carrots, etc clean your mouth as you eat,” he says.

7 Crowded teeth 

Some people have badly aligned or crowded teeth which makes cleaning particularly difficult. Food starts accumulating in the space between the teeth, attracting bacteria to feast on them. This is one of the leading cause of teeth decay among children. “Parents don’t think it necessary to correct malaligned teeth in children. In some cases, they wait till the child grows up to do any dental procedure. But by then the damage is already done and it’s beyond any correction,” says Dr Nandakumar.

Image source: Shutterstock

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