According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 91% of Americans aged between 20 to 64 have dental cavities. The survey further indicated that tooth decay affects 96% of Americans sixty-five years or older. So, how does tooth decay develop?
The start of tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth’s enamel. The bacteria that reside in plaque produce an acid that destroys the tooth structure.
Learn more about general dentistry services that help prevent tooth decay.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
According to the American Dental Association, you can avoid tooth decay by taking several measures, such as:
- Using fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Consulting your dentist before using any additional fluoride to protect or strengthen your teeth
- Eating a balanced diet and limiting sugary foods
- Regularly visiting a dental clinic for oral examination and professional teeth cleaning
- Regular dental flossing
How Does Tooth Decay Develop?
Tooth decay begins when you lose calcium and plaque accumulates on your gums. At this stage, you will see whitish substances on your teeth. The bacteria break down the food particles that remain on your teeth, thereby producing corrosive acids. The accumulation of these acids destroys the enamel of your teeth. However, this first stage of tooth decay is reversible through proper treatment.
The Process of Tooth Decay
In the second stage, the enamel begins to break beneath the surface of your tooth. As such, the status of your tooth starts deteriorating significantly. It becomes hard for the remineralization to reinstate the right minerals and coating for your tooth. The outcome is the formation of abrasion in your tooth.
As the decomposition of your tooth’s enamel continues, the outside of your tooth breaks, which is irreversible. In case the decay of your tooth has reached this stage, talk to a family dentist at Splendid Dental Bellaire immediately.
The third phase is the disintegration of the dentin. When you fail to treat your teeth, the microorganisms in your mouth and the acids they produce carry on the destruction of your enamel getting to the dentin.
The dentin is the region of your tooth that lies between the pulp and the enamel. When the acid begins to dissolve the dentin, the infected tooth becomes painful. After the destruction of a large part of your enamel, a dental cavity forms. If you visit a Splendid Dental Bellaire dental expert at this stage, they’re likely to recommend a dental filling.
The next phase is the destruction of the pulp, which is the center of your tooth. Its composition is cells and tissues known as odontoblasts. If the corrosion of your tooth reaches the pulp, the formation of pus will start. This indicates that the nerves and blood cells in your tooth are vulnerable to destruction too. The pain in the tooth at this stage is constant.
It’s best to visit a dentist at Splendid Dental Bellaire if you’re at this stage and are still wondering: how does tooth decay develop? The ideal treatment here would be root canal therapy.
The next phase is the formation of the abscess. When the corrosion reaches the tip of the root of your tooth, the chances are that the bones that border the infected tooth can get the infection too. In most cases, there is swelling of the tongue and the gums, affecting your ability to speak well. At this stage, a dental expert is likely to suggest oral surgery.
The last stage is the loss of your tooth. If you fail to treat your tooth after the swelling stage, the dentist will have to remove it. The process of removing the tooth is what dentists call tooth extraction.
Get a Picture-Perfect Smile at Splendid Dental Bellaire
Don’t let your tooth decay prevent you from living a happy life. At Splendid Dental Bellaire, we have a team of expert dentists who are ready to offer you a variety of services, including:
Now you have a satisfactory answer to the pressing question – how does tooth decay develop? Take immediate action before tooth decay deteriorates, and you won’t end up losing the tooth. However, even if you lose your teeth due to injuries or oral health conditions, you’ll get an ideal solution at Splendid Dental Bellaire. Contact us today at 713-244-7797 to schedule an appointment.