Tooth Decay

Taking care of your teeth is an important part of maintaining your oral health. If you do not, your teeth can become severely damaged and your whole health is affected. So, how does tooth decay form and how can you prevent it? Let’s take a closer look:

Causes of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is caused by the buildup of dental plaque. When you eat foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates, the plaque bacteria on your teeth turn it into acid. When acid is produced, it erodes through the enamel of a tooth. If the decay is not detected early enough, it can start to damage the dentine layer of a tooth and form a cavity. At this point, if the cavity is not treated, the decay will spread to the nerves in a tooth’s pulp.

Types of Tooth Decay
There are several types of tooth decay:

  1. Root Decay: Root decay occurs on the lower surface of a tooth, near the gum line. This type of cavity is usually found in people who have a receding gum line. Root decay is a serious issue and can spread easily if not treated right away.
  2. Pit and Fissure Decay: After eating, particles of food stay in the ridges on your tooth’s surface. This, unfortunately, serves as a breeding ground for bacteria which create further pitting on the tooth.
  3. Smooth Surface Decay: Smooth surface decay is not as severe as the other types of tooth decay because the bacteria are not able to hide in nooks and crannies. This decay is slow spreading and can be treated with fluoride.

Treatment and Prevention
To prevent tooth decay and to keep your teeth healthy, it is important to keep up with your daily dental routines:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day to prevent dental plaque buildup.
  2. Floss daily to avoid cavities between your teeth.
  3. Use a fluoride-based toothpaste/mouthwash to help keep your teeth strong or receive a fluoride treatment at our office.

If tooth decay does develop, a number of procedures can be performed. If the tooth decay is not severe, then a filling will be placed. If the tooth decay has widely spread throughout the tooth, a dental crown may be needed to correct the issue. Further, if the decay has affected the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment will be to be performed.

If you are experiencing any tooth pain or discomfort, please contact us immediately. We will work with your specific needs and make sure to restore your tooth’s health!