Understanding Tooth Decay

Did you know that your teeth have a protective film called enamel? The enamel is the hardest tissue in your body. It covers the crown, which is the visible portion of the tooth outside of the gums. 

Tooth decay is when your tooth enamel becomes damaged, causing cavities, dental abscesses, tooth loss, and even gum disease. It’s caused by specific bacteria that live in dental plaque, which can turn the sugars in your meals into acids. These acids can harm your teeth if plaque is allowed to build up over time.

As a result, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is an essential element of avoiding tooth decay. What is dental plaque, and what can be done to prevent tooth loss? Continue reading to learn more about tooth decay and how to treat it.

How Tooth Decay Occurs 

Essential to the tooth decay process, dental plaque is a colorless, sticky film that forms on the surfaces of your teeth and is made up of bacteria, food particles, and saliva. Plaque forms if you don’t brush and floss regularly. The bacteria in plaque create acids that damage tooth enamel when they come in contact with sugars. Plaque’s stickiness keeps these acids in direct contact with your teeth, gradually eroding the enamel of your teeth.

If the plaque isn’t removed, it might harden and develop tartar over time. Tartar protects bacteria even more so than plaque, making it more challenging to eliminate it.

What Are Cavities? 

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in plaque produce acids that erode the tooth. Cavities are holes that develop in the teeth from tooth decay. They are commonplace in areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. This comprises the grooves on the tops of the back teeth and the sides where the teeth meet. Tooth decay can be painful in its latter stages and can also result in tooth loss.

Can We Treat a Decaying Tooth?

Tooth decay is treated to prevent it from spreading deeper into the tooth. This is frequently accomplished by filling cavities. The first step is to drill the tooth until the decayed portion is removed, which shields the tooth from further harm. The cavity is then filled with a firm substance. Dental fillings keep the cavity from trapping more food debris and bacteria, avoiding future tooth damage and discomfort. 

Maintain Your Beautiful and Healthy Smile

Check in with your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. These visits are likely to reduce as your oral hygiene efforts begin to bear fruit. Just remember to keep flossing and brushing your teeth, as well as eating a healthy, balanced diet. Are you seeking dental treatments that can help you keep your lovely smile? We go above and beyond standard dentistry at Brock North Dental.