Did You Know: Your Misalignment Could Lead To Tooth Decay?
Not that we want to scare you, but tooth decay is something that definitely needs immediate attention. If you think 'your teeth are okay as long as they don’t ache', then you are probably increasing the risk for your pearly whites! And if you have misaligned teeth, then just having good oral hygiene may not suffice.
But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Misaligned teeth indeed attract more teeth and gum problems. And since tooth decay is one of the most common concerns, we dug up everything you need to know about it.
From causes and symptoms to how misalignment can lead to tooth decay, let’s get your doubts cleared right here:
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is the damage caused by bacteria as it digs into your teeth structure, one layer at a time. Basically, a sticky bacterial film (aka plaque) develops on the surface of your teeth, which constantly damages the enamel (the outer-hard layer of your tooth). And if left untreated, it’ll dig deeper to cause serious concerns such as cavities, infection, or even loss of teeth.
Here are 5 stages of tooth decay you must know:
The affected tooth goes through stages of damage and decaying if not treated at the right time:
Stage 1 of teeth decay: White spots
After bacteria turns unhealthy food (sugar, starch, etc.) into acids, a layer of plaque develops on the surface of the teeth. This plaque starts digging into the enamel. Enamel, the outer-hard layer of your teeth, is made of minerals. And as the plaque increase, the enamel begins losing its minerals. This leads to the formation of white spots on your teeth. In other words, it's the onset of tooth decay.
Stage 2 of teeth decay: Cavities
As the enamel weakens further, the white spots start turning dark. Eventually, small holes start appearing in your tooth, which you commonly know as cavities. Here on, you will need medical attention for the treatment.
Stage 3 of teeth decay: Dentin decay
Now below the hard enamel layer lies the relatively softer dentin tissue. So once the acid reaches this layer, the decaying speeds up. You may also feel an increase in sensitivity when you have something hot or cold because the dentin tissue is connected to the nerves in the pulp.
Stage 4 of teeth decay: Damaged pulp
If the decaying still goes untreated, the pulp gets damaged. The pulp is the powerhouse of your teeth with blood vessels and nerves that provide sensation and keep your teeth healthy. Damage to this causes irritation, swelling, and eventually pain.
Stage 5 of teeth decay: tooth abscess
Further decaying leads to the formation of pus in the pulp, which may lead to severe pain, swelling, fever, or even swelling to the gums, jaw, and face. Delaying treatment at this level can cause the infection to spread to your neck and head or even cause loss of teeth.
Who has a higher risk of tooth decay?
Tooth decaying plaque spares no one. Not even toddlers. The risk of tooth decay is higher for those who:
- Have a high sugar-starch diet
- Have dry mouth or low saliva
- Have poor oral hygiene
- Are young with a high intake of sugar (bottled milk, juices, etc.), especially during bedtime
- In their senior years due to receding gums and weak enamel.
What are the symptoms of tooth decay?
Although tooth decay is slightly difficult to spot in the initial stage, here are some signs you must watch out for:
- Bad breath
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Discoloration of teeth
- Persistent unpleasant smell in the mouth
- White or darker spots on the surface of the teeth
What causes tooth decay?
Here are some common concerns that can cause tooth decay:
High sugar-starch diet High sugar and starch intake is an invitation to tooth decay. The bacteria on your teeth turn the sugar and starch in your food into acids, which form a clear-sticky film known as plaque. And we all know what plaque will do to your teeth.
Poor oral hygiene Brushing and flossing (regularly) are IMP for a reason. Poor oral hygiene will eventually lead to bacteria and plaque buildup, thus causing cavities.
Strong medication People on strong medication due to severe health concerns tend to have a dry mouth, which can lead to plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum diseases.
Another major cause is misalignment.
Wondering how does teeth misalignment lead to tooth decay?
It all starts with the struggle to maintain good oral hygiene. If you have misaligned teeth, you know cleaning all areas can be slightly demanding due to the misalignment. Hence, the risk of tooth decay is high. Not brushing or flossing correctly can give an easy leeway to bacteria to build plaque and tartar.
Is tooth decay treatment possible?
Depending on the severity, the dentist will recommend a tooth decay treatment such as the following:
- Fluoride treatment: In the initial stage, fluoride treatments are ideal. They replenish the lost minerals and help the enamel repair itself.
(Quick fun fact: Your toothpaste also has fluoride, which replenishes the enamel every time you brush your teeth.)
Cavity fillings: In the case of cavities, the dentist will remove the decaying tissues, reshape the holes and fill it to strengthen the tooth. However, if you have larger holes, you might need a crown. So instead of filling, the outer layer of your teeth is removed along with the decaying tissue. It is replaced with a temporary crown until the permanent one is ready.
Root canal: If the pulp is damaged but recoverable, the dentist will suggest a root canal. In this process, they eliminate the damaged pump, clean the root canal, and fill it with temporary fillings until the permanent crown is ready. The dentist may even apply medicine to eliminate the bacteria in the root canal.
Extraction: When the damage is beyond repair, tooth extraction is necessary. The dentist will numb the pulp and extract the tooth. You can either get an implant or a bridge to fill the gap. And yes, it's necessary to fill the gap, or the teeth next to it might move in and change your bite.
So, if it’s not too late for you, you should look for ways to prevent tooth decay, especially if you have a misalignment.
How to prevent tooth decay?
To prevent tooth decay, you must:
- Limit intake of sugar and starchy food
- Brush and floss regularly (or as recommended by your dentist)
- Attend your annual or 6-monthly dental checkups
- Avoid chewing tobacco or tobacco-related products
And if you have a misalignment, you can get your teeth straightened either with:
Braces: A popular traditional method with wires and brackets, braces apply pressure to move your teeth to the correct position. But the journey may not be all sunshine and flower beds. The process, although super-effective, can be demanding with its own sets of challenges, such as:
- Food restrictions
- High risk of cuts inside the mouth
- Difficulty in maintaining good oral hygiene etc
Aligners: More like a modern twist on braces, aligners do the same thing (as braces,) only more comfortably. Besides, they are almost invisible, and you have the freedom to remove and wear them whenever you want. Also, zero food restrictions, and you can maintain good oral hygiene. The only drawback, they can be expensive.
But lucky for you, there’s toothsi.
Why should you try toothsi aligners for straightening teeth?
Because you get more than just teeth straightening benefits! Choose toothsi because:
Super comfortable: No cuts and blisters! Our aligners are feather-light, flexible, and incredibly comfortable.
Personalized by orthodontists: toothsi aligners are unique and a replica of your teeth alignment made by our dedicated team of orthodontists and engineers.
Almost invisible: Yup, they are so clear it’s difficult to spot them!
At-home services: Call us when you are free, and our toothsi pro will be at your doorstep for your teeth scan.
You can pay after plan approval: You get to pay for your aligner kit only after you are satisfied with our smile makeover plan. Pre-plan assessments by the orthodontists and the 3D virtual results are all charged at a nominal cost.
Materials used are non-toxic: Our aligners are BPA-free and phthalate-free. Which means they are safe for you and those prepping them for you.
Leading-edge technology: We use industrial-grade machines, CE- and FDA-approved sheets (conform to international dental tests!), and digital printers to curate precise and consistent molds.
Easy-on-pocket packages and EMIs: Our packages are priced at a cost to literally make you smile. We have super-affordable EMI options starting at just: ₹2,786/month (toothsi easy package) ₹6,497/month (toothsi prime package)
toothsi promise: Our dedicated team of orthodontists, toothsi pros, and tech team are always ready to help as a part of, what we call, the toothsi promise.
All in all, don’t let your misalignment be the root cause of tooth decay. Visit an orthodontist or, you can always choose toothsi. We’ll be happy to have you onboard for a smile makeover journey.
To know more about our packages, click here: https://toothsi.in/pricing