Not so fun-sized anymore: What causes tooth decay

Posted on: November 13, 2016

Halloween used to be the only holiday that seemed to focus on obtaining piles of candy from an endless variety of options. Children could roll from one pile candy to another, surviving on the sugar for the next month before running out. However, now almost every holiday from Christmas to St. Patrick’s Day seems to have excessive amounts of candy and treats. While some candy in moderation will not cause any permanent harm to a child who takes care of his or her teeth, parents need to prevent diets with excessive candy.

Putting a child’s oral health at risk

No one can argue that candy is not sweet, delicious and something everyone loves. Even though there is a type of candy out there for everyone, all types of candy can damage one’s teeth if people are not careful. With the holidays, people may feel a free pass that allows them to eat more candy and sweets than normal. While people are free to choose what they eat, too much candy and a lack of dental care can cause tooth decay.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, finds that 17 percent of children between ages 5 to 19 had untreated dental caries (tooth decay) from 2011 to 2012. While candy can be delicious, tooth decay is a common side effect of sugar-filled diets and poor dental hygiene. Those who suffer from tooth decay can also develop cavities.

The Mayo Clinic explains that “Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes.” If left untreated, cavities can cause complete tooth loss. Adults are just as susceptible to tooth decay as kids with 27 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 44 having untreated tooth decay from 2011 to 2012 as well. The Mayo Clinic lists the signs of tooth decay/cavities to include:

  • Toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
  • Visible holes or pits in your teeth
  • Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
  • Pain when you bite down

Fortunately, tooth decay and cavities are completely avoidable with proper dental hygiene and regular dental checkups.

Visiting the dentist does not have to be difficult

With a complex schedule, it can be difficult to visit a dentist for proper care unless there are multiple appointments. However, by visiting a family dentist, parents can take the entire family to the same office and schedule appointments around the same time. While a child can prevent tooth decay through proper brushing and flossing at home, there is still a chance for tooth decay to develop in the hard-to-reach places of the teeth.

Plaque can build up over time and cause tooth decay to form, leading to more health risks and complications in the future. A family dentist can not only catch the signs of tooth decay early on, but prevent them from spreading. If tooth decay remains untreated, the cavities will continue to deepen into the inner layers of the teeth and lead to tooth loss. A family dentist can also make it easier to keep reminders of when everyone in the family needs to visit for a regular dental cleaning.

By getting a regular dental cleaning at least once every six months, patients are able to keep their teeth healthy and free of infection. If you or a loved one struggle with symptoms of tooth decay, do not hesitate to call and schedule an appointment. We will assess the situation and find the best treatment solution necessary for a healthy mouth.

Unique Dental Care

At Unique Dental Care in Sunnyvale, CA, we will customize your treatment to match your needs and schedule. Our professional staff creates a calm atmosphere for you during the appointment and treatment process. If you have any questions or are unsure of what is causing the pain in your teeth, do not hesitate to call us.

We will answer any questions and make sure you get all of the necessary information. We can help prevent damage to your teeth and set you on track for a lifetime of pristine oral health. At Unique Dental Care, your experience with us and your dental health are our prime concern.


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