You brush and floss each day. You think you do a good job of eating foods that do not stain your teeth. Yet, you’ve noticed that your teeth are yellowing, or that there is a strange discoloration on the surface of your teeth. How does tooth decay develop in this situation? It is important to remember decay occurs over time. It can be hard to stop it on your own once it starts. Luckily, at Lovett Dental Katy, we are here to help you protect your oral health.
How Does Tooth Decay Develop?
Tooth decay happens over time. It is mostly controlled by the amount of bacteria present in the mouth and capable of doing damage to the tooth, gums, and tissues. Additionally, acids, such as those in the foods you eat, also damage the exterior. Tooth decay does not have to lead to holes and missing teeth. It is important to take good care of your teeth on a daily basis and get regular dental check-ups. How does tooth decay develop over time?
Plaque Begins to Form
The first stage involves the development of plaque on the outside of the teeth. This sticky film covers the tooth and begins to break down the exterior. Tartar occurs when the plaque hardens into place.
Plaque Attacks the Tooth
Plaque will cause the enamel – the outer layer of the tooth – to wear down. This creates small holes and openings that allow bacteria to invade further into the tooth. Eventually, it reaches the dentin, which is the layer that protects the soft tissues and nerves in your teeth.
As this continues, you will feel pain and discomfort. The inner tooth material, which is called the pulp, is inflamed and infected. This causes swelling and, over time, the death of the tissue. The nerve pain can be significant. The tooth ends up falling out or has to be removed. This can also lead to nerves in the teeth dying, meaning you may need a root canal to remove the nerve.
How Do You Prevent Tooth Decay?
The best news for those who want to prevent tooth decay is that you can do so with several steps and processes.
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste after you eat or drink.
- Ask your dentist about dental fluoride treatments to further minimize damage.
- See your general dentist provider at least one time every six months.
- Have professional teeth cleaning done every six months.
- Avoid foods with acids in them, such as soda.
- Minimize the amount of sugar consumed.
In addition to this, it is important to be proactive at minimizing any problems occurring now with your teeth. For example, if you have dental pain, you may need a root canal treatment to remove the buildup of plaque and bacteria. If you have inflamed gums, you may need more advanced periodontal treatments to remove that bacteria that is navigated deep into your gum line.
At Lovett Dental Katy, we offer the treatment options you need to get your oral health back in place. If you have not been in to see your dentist in some time, now is the time to reach out to us for an appointment.
Improve Your Oral Health at Lovett Dental Katy
In every situation, it is critical to take steps to improve your oral health. As you learn more about how does tooth decay develops, recognize the importance of visiting your dentist often. We recommend coming in every six months for treatment. At Lovett Dental Katy, we offer aggressive treatment options to manage your tooth decay. Schedule a consultation and exam by calling 832-437-6477. Protect your smile and contact us today.