We’ve all heard of tooth decay, and maybe you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid the worst symptoms associated with it so far. It’s easy to write off getting tooth decay as just something that causes toothaches. But it’s much more than that.
Let’s take a look at just how serious dental decay actually is.
Believe it or not, tooth decay is up there with the common cold as one of the most common diseases affecting humans. Thankfully, it’s entirely preventable with good oral hygiene practices, regular trips to the dentist, and practising restraint when it comes to eating and drinking sugary food and drink.
For tooth decay to be a problem, you need the following:
Did you know that the enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body? Despite this fact, plaque can cause cavities to form on the surface of your teeth.
As the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and starch, they merge in your saliva to form plaque. This plaque will coat your teeth and, once fed, the bacteria will start to create acid. Over time, this acid will weaken the enamel coating of your tooth. This breakdown leads to the formation of small holes or cavities.
Once a hole has formed in the surface of your teeth, plaque bacteria can work itself inside the tooth and damage the layers of dentin below. Eventually, the hole will deepen to expose the living portion of the tooth, known as the dental pulp, to infection.
Once your dental pulp is infected, the best course of action is to have root canal treatment. This can help save your tooth and prevent further infection by removing the diseased pulp. If left untreated, your pulp will die and you run the risk of developing an abscess. Eventually, saving your tooth will be impossible.
The loss of a tooth can cause problems biting and chewing and it may affect your confidence, but it can cause other problems. Neighbouring teeth could start to shift positions, sliding into the gaps, possibly even changing angles as they do so.
Another major problem is that without a tooth taking root in it, the underlying jaw will start to break down. Resorption of the jaw occurs when the bone’s minerals are taken away in the blood. This leads to a loss in facial definition making you look much older than you are.
We want to keep your teeth in top shape; this is why we recommend coming to see us at least twice a year for a full checkup. Here, we’ll be able to spot decay before it causes damage. We can stop it in its tracks by helping strengthen your teeth and giving you tips on how to care for them better.
Don’t let decay kill your smile. Book an appointment with us today.Back to Blog
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