How Does a Tooth Decay?

Most adults have experienced (or will experience) tooth decay at least once in their lives, largely because many of them don’t understand it well enough to prevent it from forming. Fortunately, those who do develop tooth decay and the cavities that it causes have a variety of custom options for treating it. However, the damage that cavities cause is permanent, and to preserve a maximum amount of natural tooth structure, it matters to know how a tooth decays and what you can do to prevent it.

The Beginnings of a Cavity

As the strongest parts of your body, your teeth are incredibly resilient, thanks in large part to the highly resilient enamel that surrounds them. Made almost entirely of mineral crystals (like calcium), enamel’s main purpose is to protect your more vulnerable tooth structure, especially from harmful oral bacteria. However, when bacteria, plaque, and tartar overwhelm your teeth, the microbes produce acids that sap your teeth of the minerals they need to replenish enamel. Before long, acid attacks can create small holes in your tooth enamel, known as cavities, that grow larger as bacteria infect the main tooth structure with decay.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

The best way to prevent tooth decay (and many other chronic dental health issues) is to properly control the buildup of oral bacteria. Brushing your teeth at least twice every day and flossing at least once can adequately control plaque buildup. Also, regular checkups and cleanings will give your dentist a chance to remove tartar and check for early signs of enamel erosion. If you do develop a cavity, then your dentist can help you stop it from growing larger by sanitizing the tooth and restoring it with a tooth-colored filling. In more severe cases of decay, root canal treatment may be necessary to fully restore the tooth.

Treat Tooth Decay Before It’s Too Late

If it’s too late to prevent tooth decay, then let your dentist treat it before it’s too late to save it all. To learn about your treatment options, schedule a consultation by calling Just Wright Dental in Corsicana, TX, today by calling (903) 225-2221.