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.

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