What Causes Tooth Decay?

Most of us have dealt with tooth decay in the past. Most of us never want to do it again. All of us can protect ourselves from the hassle of dealing with tooth decay by learning how and why tooth decay happens.

How does tooth decay occur?

Tooth enamel covers the outer surface of the tooth. Although it is the hardest substance in the body, it can be broken down or corroded.

Leftover sugars and carbohydrates interact with bacteria in the mouth to create acids that corrode the enamel. Enamel can also be worn down by constant grinding (bruxism) and stomach acids in the case of acid reflux or bulimia.

Once the enamel wears away, the outer surface of the tooth breaks down forming a cavity. Through the cavity, bacteria gets to the dentin and causes it to decay. If left unchecked, the bacteria bores deeper into the tooth and infects the pulp which is made up of soft tissue and nerves. At this point, an abscess may form and the pain will be epic. It should never get to this point.

Things that cause tooth decay

1. Poor oral hygiene: the most common cause of dental caries

The mouth should be cleaned in the morning and before going to bed. An important part of oral hygiene is minimizing the intake of sugar, carbonated drinks and sticky treats (like caramel and toffee) that are hard to clean out.

When allowed to hang out in the mouth, sugar interacts with bacteria to create acids and plaque. The acids start to eat away at the enamel and soon enough, cavities form. The appearance of little holes on the teeth should be a wake-up call. Make a dentist appointment and get the tooth restored as soon as possible.

2. Partially erupted wisdom teeth

The back teeth are especially vulnerable to cavities. They are harder to reach and clean. They also have numerous grooves. It is even worse when they are only partially grown. Half-grown wisdom teeth have a knack for getting food stuck in them because they are partially covered by the gum. They provide the perfect home for bacteria which causes the tooth to rot.

To avoid tooth decay, special attention should be paid when cleaning wisdom teeth. If wisdom teeth are being a pain, consult the dentist to find a permanent solution to the problem.

3. Untreated injuries

A cracked tooth allows bacteria to infect the dentin and pulp. Some brave people ignore an injured tooth if it does not hurt too much. As it is nearly impossible to keep the now exposed inner tooth clean, tooth decay is bound to happen eventually. A visit to the dentist is the simplest way to deal with a cracked or chipped tooth.

4. Health issues

The teeth of people that suffer from acid reflux or bulimia are constantly exposed to stomach acids that eat away at the outer surface of the tooth. Corroded enamel is the first stage of tooth decay. In order to restore the health of the teeth, the underlying health problem must be treated.

It does not take much

Keeping your teeth healthy is a daily exercise. It is the little things we do that make all the difference. Also, visit your dentist regularly. They love it when you visit.

Schedule an appointment today!

Go to https://smilesdental.com for more information about tooth decay or call Smiles Dental Care at (650) 563-1180.

Recent Posts

Does A Broken Tooth Warrant A Trip To An Emergency Dental Office?

Every broken tooth does not require emergency dental treatment. For instance, most people can wait for the next scheduled appointment for conditions such as toothaches or tooth sensitivity. In the meantime, over-the-counter medication can provide relief until a dental provider is available. Sometimes it is not clear what constitutes a trip to an emergency dental…

Do You Have A Chipped Tooth? Your Mountain View Dentist Can Help

Although teeth are incredibly strong and durable, sometimes even the most cautious person can wind up with a chipped tooth. The person may have chipped it and immediately known it had occurred, or they felt a rough and jagged spot on their tooth. Either way, a chipped tooth is no problem for your dentist in…

General Dentist: What Is A Frenectomy?

If you notice tongue-tie in your child, you should turn to your general dentist for help and advice. Your dentist will perform a physical exam to find out what is going on before recommending the ideal course of action. Sometimes dentists decide to wait. This is because the condition may not cause problems or the…

What To Do When Your Dental Crowns Are Turning Yellow

Dental crowns are an effective treatment for many dental issues. These can range from protecting damaged teeth to long-term cosmetic fixes and will keep smiles looking fantastic for quite a while. Unfortunately, dental crowns may also show signs of discoloration. This can happen for many reasons, and these reasons have solutions appropriate to their cause.Since…


Recent Posts

General Dentist:  What Is A Frenectomy?

General Dentist: What Is A Frenectomy?

If you notice tongue-tie in your child, you should turn to your general dentist for help and advice. Your dentist will perform a physical exam to find out what is going on before recommending the ideal course of action. Sometimes dentists decide to wait. This is because the condition may not cause problems or the…

Am I A Good Candidate For A Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Am I A Good Candidate For A Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

A wisdom tooth extraction is a procedure that involves removing one or more wisdom teeth. These teeth are located at the end of the lower and upper gums, right in the back of your mouth. If you have problems with your wisdom teeth, they may have to be extracted. Read to learn more about wisdom…