Posts Tagged ‘dental decay’
About tooth decayTooth decay is a common dental problem, and it is almost always preventable. It is caused by harmful bacteria, which attack and erode the enamel and create holes known as cavities. Plaque is the main risk factor for tooth decay. Plaque is a colourless film that forms when saliva joins together bits of food and bacteria. When the bacteria feed, they release acids, and these acids weaken the enamel, eventually creating cavities. Once there are cavities in the enamel, there is a risk of infection spreading to the dentin, which contains the nerve tissue and blood vessels.
Dealing with decayIf you have a cavity in your tooth, we will usually fill the tooth, a process that involves placing a filling inside the cavity. Before the filling is placed, the tooth is cleaned and all the decayed tissue is taken away. Fillings make the teeth stronger and more durable and they also help to stem the spread of bacteria through the tooth, reducing the risk of infection. If decay is left untreated, it can get worse and infection can spread to the living pulp tissue. If this is the case, root canal treatment may be required.
Preventing decayThe best ways to prevent decay are to maintain good oral hygiene at home, to keep up to date with dental visits and to avoid consuming excessive amounts of sugar. It’s also advisable to keep an eye out for hidden sugars in foods and to avoid acidic foods and drinks.