What Exactly Is Tooth Decay And How Does It Start?
Posted on 1/25/2020 by Dr. Nick Raptou
Tooth decay usually comes about when your tooth enamel gets softened by plaque and other bacterial action. It is caused when the acidic by-products generated by bacteria in the mouth erode the tooth enamel. As a result, cavities develop in the teeth and they become vulnerable to infections. This article will look at tooth decay and its causes so that you can know how to protect your oral health.
What You Need To Know About Tooth Decay
All human beings have bacteria in their mouths. After one has had any food or drinks that contain sugar, the bacteria in your mouth converts the sugar into acid. Such sugars are usually found in fermentable carbohydrates, cooked starches, and natural fruits. Any food product that contains the suffix OSE in the ingredients have such sugars. The acid then attacks and destroys the enamel of the teeth. This process is known as demineralization.
Additionally, consuming sugary or acidic snacks and drinks between meals increases the risk of tooth decay. It intensifies the acidic attack on your teeth. This can result in tooth sensitivity, sharp pains in the tooth, stained teeth, and visible cavities in your teeth.
Besides tooth sensitivity, discoloration of the teeth and cavities, the other symptoms of tooth decay include tooth infections which lead to pus in the mouth. As a result, you may experience facial swelling and fevers.
There are six stages of tooth decay. It usually starts with the formation of white spots on the tooth surface, followed by enamel decay, and then dentin decay. In the fourth stage, the pulp gets infected and may result in toothaches. Thereafter, pus starts forming in the tongue and the gums after the infection reaches the root tip of the teeth. If untreated, tooth decay moves to the last stage, which is tooth loss.
Tooth decay is preventable by observing general oral hygiene and regular dental checkups at our clinics. In case you are suffering from tooth decay, it is treatable using fluoride treatments, tooth fillings, root canal treatment, and tooth extraction. These services are also available at our dental office. Our team of expert dentists can identify and treat tooth decay before it's too late. Get in touch with us today.