If you’ve ever had to deal with decay in a tooth, then the good news is that you’re not alone. In fact, most people have, or will have to, treat some level of decay in at last one of their teeth at some point. However, the fact that it’s common doesn’t make tooth decay any less of a threat to your oral health, and it’s still worth doing all you can to prevent it from affecting your healthy, natural tooth structure. Fortunately, preventing tooth decay isn’t particularly difficult, and even if you’ve dealt with it before, you can still substantially reduce your risks of developing it again in another tooth.
What causes a tooth to decay?
Tooth decay is the formal name for the infection that forms in your tooth when it’s exposed to harmful oral bacteria. That may seem like a simple process, but before bacteria can reach your tooth structure, they first have to get past the highly mineralized enamel that surrounds it. This most often occurs when bacteria, which form plaque on your teeth, produce acids that attack your tooth enamel and weaken it. You can largely prevent this, or lower its impact on your tooth enamel, by consistently brushing and flossing away plaque from your teeth every day.
Is good hygiene enough to prevent it?
Preventing tooth decay actually means preventing oral bacteria from compromising your tooth enamel and subsequently infecting your tooth structure. Good dental hygiene every day is the first and most important line of defense for your teeth, but alone, a good hygiene routine may not be enough to keep your teeth free of decay. For example, the rate at which your teeth can replenish their enamel after its been weakened by oral bacteria is an important aspect in preventing cavities. You can boost this rate by giving your teeth plenty of the minerals it needs to replenish enamel, including calcium.
What if tooth decay does develop?
If tooth decay does develop in one of your teeth, it’s important not to give up on the tooth, or on protecting the rest of your healthy teeth from decaying. For example, treating tooth decay in its early stages can help you preserve most of the tooth’s healthy structure, while sticking to good hygiene and dental health practices will help you keep it and the rest of your teeth healthy for life.
Learn how you can avoid tooth decay
Tooth decay can affect nearly anyone, but nearly everyone can prevent it, as well, with the right care and maintenance. To learn more, schedule an appointment or initial consultation by calling Advanced Dental Concepts in Auburn Hills, MI, today at (248) 852-1820.