Tooth decay is not something that happens overnight. It is a process that takes time. Of course, the longer it continues the worse the problem of tooth decay is. Tooth decay follows a progression. To protect the teeth against the devastating effects of tooth decay, it is a good idea to learn how it progresses.
The Cause of Tooth Decay
There is a basic reason for tooth decay. It is the result of bacterial growth. The mouth is full of bacteria. The bacteria from the streptococcus family are the ones found in plaque that lead to tooth decay. A good oral hygiene routine helps remove the bacteria that are ion the teeth and gums, but it does not always remove all of them. Over time, the bacteria in the plaque eat away at the enamel and the meat of the tooth.
The bacteria thrive with the help of sugar and carbohydrates. They metabolize these things to eat away at the enamel of the teeth. It begins the different stages of tooth decay.
The Stages of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay progresses in stages. During the earliest stages, spots form on the teeth. The spots are typically white or brown. Most people cannot see the white spots without the help of our dental professionals. This is the easiest stage to stop the progression of tooth decay.
The next stage is the formation of a cavity. During this stage the bacteria create holes in the teeth. Once tooth decay is at this stage, the tooth will not repair itself. It requires some other form of treatment. The next stage is pulpitis. The cavity grows and affects the soft pulp of the tooth. This leads to an infection known as pulpitis. The final stages of tooth decay are the formation of an abscess and systematic problems.
The earlier that you catch tooth decay, the easier it is to treat and to stop the progress. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to help with your oral health.
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