Tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of the teeth. It can be a problem for children, teens and adults. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on the teeth. When one eats or drinks foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with the teeth and over time the enamel can break down. This is when cavities can form.
HOW IS TOOTH DECAY DIAGNOSED?
To diagnose the condition, your dentistry specialist will conduct thorough physical examination along with teeth x-ray to check your tooth and evaluate the extent of damage.
HOW IS TOOTH DECAY TREATED?
The best treatment for tooth decay depends on how severe it is. If tooth decay is caught early, before a cavity forms, you may be able to stop it by brushing with fluoride toothpaste or getting fluoride treatments.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cavities are a result of poor oral hygiene and retained dental plaque on the tooth surface. Specific bacteria in plaque cause decay. Different types of bacteria in plaque, retained near the gum line, cause gum disease to occur, which is a condition that the dentist and periodontist can help treat. Because cavities can penetrate deep into the tooth structure as far as the nerve, one may also experience sensitivity with certain foods and drinks.