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Adult Tooth Decay: Keep Cavities From Destroying Your Dental Health

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If you notice black spots between your molars, you might wonder if you have discolored teeth or something else. If the rest of your enamel looks clean and healthy, the spots between your teeth could actually be cavities, or holes in your teeth.
When decay initially shows up in a tooth, it looks similar to a white or chalky blotch. The second stage of decay appears as a small brown spot, which indicates that a tiny hole has formed in the surface of the tooth. The third stage indicates that a larger, much deeper hole has formed in the tooth.
A deep cavity can cause significant problems for your dental health, including infections and pain. Here are things to know about molar decay and what you can do to treat it.

Learn How Cavities Form Between Molars

When molars sit too close together, floss can't slide between them properly. Strands of meat, stringy vegetables, and sticky sweets can get trapped between your molars and attract bacteria. Once bacteria feed on the particles of food, they release acidic waste products that break down the minerals in your enamel.
You might not notice or pay much attention to the initial stages of tooth decay. You might think that the white spots are stains. By the time you do notice signs of decay, such as dark spots, the process has already caused deep cavities in your molars.
Bacteria can enter the cavities and infect the blood vessels and nerves (pulp tissues) inside your molars. Infection can then potentially leave the pulp tissues and spread to the ligaments anchoring your teeth inside their sockets. If you don't make changes in your dental care and seek treatment, the infection can potentially spread to your jawbone.

Take Steps to Stop the Decay in Its Tracks

It's essential that you try to remove as much of the rotting food from your molars as you can. Bacteria can continue to feed and grow as long as the organisms have a viable and consistent food source. Cleaning your teeth helps control these issues.
You'll need an electric water flosser to clean your mouth effectively. The flosser cleans teeth by shooting streams of water on their surfaces, including the areas around the gumline and between each tooth. Adjust the flosser's speed and flow to remove stubborn pieces of food.
Next, brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, which helps introduce minerals back into your molars. Although it won't stop the decay in your molars, fluoride can help strengthen your remaining enamel. If possible, use the water flosser's brush application to complete this step, and then rinse your mouth with warm water.
After you complete your dental care, sip fluids to hydrate your mouth, which helps to increase saliva production. Saliva can help neutralize the acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay. Try to avoid dehydrating fluids, such as coffee and caffeinated tea. It's best to stick with plain water. You can always add slices of cantaloupe or kiwi to your water for taste.
Finally, schedule an appointment with a dentist. The steps and tips above only help lessen the bacteria in your mouth; they can't stop the decay from getting worse. A dentist can examine your molars and provide the best treatment options for them.
A dentist will generally take pictures, or X-rays, of your entire mouth during your visit. X-rays can tell your dentist the exact location and depth of each cavity. The next step may include cleaning and filling the holes in your molars. However, if decay has damaged your molars too much, you may need a root canal treatment. This is something you should discuss with a dentist in greater detail.
Don't wait until cavities compromise your oral health. Contact the experts at Universal Dental Center for an appointment and more information today.