How Much Do You Know About Tooth Decay?

smiling woman with finger to her mouthWere you warned as a child not to eat too much candy for fear of cavities? If so, it is no surprise that you remember that lesson to this day; preventing cavities and other dental diseases is also the main purpose of your daily oral hygiene routine. Yet, do you know how most candy can lead your teeth to rot, or why you brush and floss your teeth twice a day? To improve your knowledge, and hopefully your attentiveness, Brighton family dentist, Dr. Thomas Villani, explains the mechanisms of tooth decay and how you can improve your chances of cavity prevention.

Defeating Your Tooth’s Defenses

Whenever you eat or drink something, you are feeding more than your body. Dental plaque, the sticky substance that sticks to your teeth, is made mostly of bacteria. One strain in particular converts the sugar and carbs from your meals and snacks into acid. Your tooth enamel, which surrounds and protects your teeth, is a highly mineralized substance, and it’s your teeth’s first defense against bacterial infection. When bacteria excrete acid onto your enamel’s surface, the attack weakens your enamel. The acid siphons minerals from your teeth so enamel can’t regain its strength, and over time, bacteria can slip past the weakened defense and reach the dentin, your tooth’s main structure. As decay sets into your dentin, small holes form, called cavities, where bacteria can gather safely to multiply and flourish, exacerbating the tooth decay.

Prevent Cavities with Help from Your Brighton Dentist

Your best weapon against tooth decay is to prevent it with good oral hygiene and by refraining of excessively eating sugary foods and snacks. If decay happens to affect one or more of your teeth in spite of daily brushing and flossing, you have a better chance of saving your tooth the earlier you treat it. To find out if your dental health is at risk, or to see your Brighton dentist about treating your tooth decay, contact our dental office in Brighton. You can schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Villani by calling Brighton Family Dental Group at (617) 562-5210. We proudly serve patients from Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and the 02135 area.

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