The most common oral disease in the world is tooth decay. So, here it is, an insight to what happens in your mouth when your teeth start to decay. This post will be helpful for you to know what’s in your mouth naturally and the causes and prevention of tooth decay.
Here are a few elements that your mouth contains.
- Saliva – Our mouth is filled with saliva and our saliva does an incredible job in securing our oral health. It keeps our teeth and other parts of our mouth moist and helps in washing away food residue in our mouth. It also contains minerals that help in strengthening our teeth. Our saliva secures our mouth against certain viruses and bacteria and reduces the levels of acid that can cause tooth decay.
- Plaque – Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that deposits on your teeth in which bacteria proliferate. It contains a huge number of bacteria. The important thing to note is that plaque starts forming as soon as you clean your teeth and if you measure within an hour, it is quite a lot. Overlooking this condition results in thickened layer of plaque, which then teams with bacteria and causes cavities and gum disease.
- Calculus – Plaque absorbs minerals from saliva if it isn’t treated for a long time. A hard mass is formed because of these minerals, which is known as calculus.
- Bacteria – We have many types of bacteria in our mouth. Good bacteria help in controlling the other destructive bacteria.
How does your tooth decay?
Our mouth is filled with many bacteria, and this bacteria requires food to live and multiply. So, when you eat sugary foods or starches, the bacteria in your mouth utilize them as their food and then produces acids that dissolve your tooth enamel. The sugar in your food is transformed into acids by these bacteria.
The more you add sugar to your diet, the more your teeth are exposed to acid attack. And this constant acid attack leads to tooth decay, which is also known as dental caries or cavities. These acids start dissolving the calcium and phosphate crystals present inside our tooth, which creates white spots on the enamel in the debilitated area. This loss of minerals happen beneath the surface of the enamel and the surface might still remain smooth. During this stage, you can still repair your infected tooth with the help of fluoride, proteins, and minerals that are in the saliva, as the saliva is helpful in reducing the acid levels that are developed because of the bacteria that attack the tooth.
If the decayed tooth is left untreated, it may break through your enamel to cause a cavity. The damage done is permanent and you will have to see a dentist to clean out the infected tooth and fill the cavity. If overlooked, the damage may deteriorate the condition and it can destroy the inside dentin layer and the pulp of the tooth by entering through the enamel. Hence, it is important to treat cavities at a very early stage.
Prevention of cavities
- To prevent cavities you should pay attention to the following dental hygiene tips.
- Brush regularly twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, as fluoride penetrates into the teeth and strengthens them by replacing the minerals that the acid has erased
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
- Reduce the consumption of sugar and starch and have a well-balanced diet that will complement your dental health.
As we mentioned earlier, dental cavities are the most common disease worldwide because our teeth are very vulnerable to decay if they aren’t maintained properly. If you suffer from dental cavities or tooth decay, Expressions Dental™ Clinic can help you with a suitable treatment for your needs. Make an appointment at +1 (403) 252 7733 and get in touch with our general dentists for consultation and treatment, or visit www.expressionsdental.ca for details.