Here is a question we often hear: how does tooth decay develop? The answer is relatively simple. Tooth decay describes the breakdown of the exterior of the tooth, allowing bacteria to make its way into the sensitive tissues. Tooth decay happens for many reasons, but most are preventable. At Lovett Dental Vintage Park, we want you to do what it takes to keep your teeth healthy.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
The first thing that you need to understand is the cause of tooth decay. There are two main reasons it happens. The primary cause is bacteria. At all times, your mouth contains millions of bacteria. Most of the time, your immune system keeps them in check. This natural process within the human body minimizes any risks to your gums and teeth. However, if you do not have good oral hygiene, bacteria reproduce quickly. This bacteria causes a sticky substance called plaque to develop on the teeth. In addition, acids from the foods you eat can also break down the exterior of the tooth. How does tooth decay develop from here?
How Does Tooth Decay Develop from Bacteria and Acids?
There are several steps that occur during this process. It essential to take a closer look at what typically happens when tooth decay develops.
- Initially, bacteria and plaque build up on the exterior of the tooth, creating weakened areas. Holes in the enamel (the outer, high protective space of the tooth) begin to appear.
- As this worsens, the bacteria move deeper into the gums and the dentin of the tooth. This area is where the tooth pulp or the living tissues lies. You may feel significant dental pain at this point. If this is the case, it’s vital to seek treatment at Lovett Dental Vintage Park. Otherwise, this infection may get significantly worse.
- As this continues, the nerve and tissues become infected and inflamed, creating significant pain. This condition worsens until your general dentist treats the problem or until the tooth falls out or they extract it.
The good news is you can stop this progression at any point by minimizing the amount of risk present to the teeth.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
You can do a number of things to minimize tooth decay. Be consistent about these areas:
- Brush, flossing, and use a mouth rinse throughout the day after you eat or drink.
- Visit your general dental team at least one time every six months.
- Have routine teeth cleaning procedures to remove built-up plaque and tartar.
- Discuss the benefits of dental sealant applications to protect the tooth from bacteria.
- Consider the benefits of dental fluoride treatments.
Each of these steps can help to minimize the amount of damage to your teeth from bacteria and acids. It’s also critical to maintain a healthy diet that reduces the amount of sugars and acid-based foods you consume. Not only can this diet keep your body healthy, but it can also help control that bacteria and staining.
Many people will find making these changes is difficult. However, routine dental appointments can help to protect your teeth even more so than any other changes you make. Don’t put off getting in to see your dentist.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy with Lovett Dental Vintage Park
Protecting your teeth is a task you need to be aggressive about, especially if you have some tooth decay. How does tooth decay develop if you think you are doing everything right? It often occurs because you may not have visited your dentist lately. A dentist will clean your teeth and provide fluoride treatments to protect them. Let us help you. Contact Lovett Dental Vintage Park at 832-843-6776 for an appointment.