Tooth decay is very common in children and adults alike. Tooth decay starts with plaque that is left on the teeth. Dental plaque is formed by bacteria which produces acids that weaken the surface of the tooth. The acids strip away the minerals in the tooth’s protective layer, the enamel. This process of demineralization is helped by the consumption of sugar because this is what bacteria need to thrive.
When we rinse our mouth and brush our teeth, the sugars and acids are washed out. This gives the tooth a chance to restore the minerals it has lost with the help of the saliva, which has its own minerals. The fluoride in toothpaste also helps the process. However, if plaque continues to build up because of poor dental hygiene and sugar is consumed frequently, the tooth suffers a relentless acid attack that eventually creates a cavity.The Start and End of Tooth Decay According to Your Dentist in Houston
When this cavity gets bigger and deeper, it will reach the living area of the tooth known as the pulp where tissues and nerve fibers are located. At this point, the teeth become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. As the tooth decay worsens, the damage can cause the pulp to die which will leave the inside of the tooth hollow. Bacteria can get into this space and cause an abscess at the root tip.
Most people don’t know how tooth decay occurs but they do know one thing – it hurts. So, save yourself the pain by preventing it in the first place. The good old advice from a dentist in Houston is still the way to go – brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and floss daily, too.
In addition, cut down on sugary foods and beverages to help protect your teeth. Activate the production of helpful saliva in the mouth by chewing sugarless gum. Lastly, don’t skip a routine visit to your dentist in Houston so that any signs of tooth decay is spotted early on and fixed.