How does tooth decay happen?

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctors and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!

Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease in both children and adults. The good news is that it can be preventable. Knowing what causes tooth decay, aids in its prevention. Three components are necessary for a cavity to happen. These include: bacteria, food for the bacteria and a tooth. If any of these criteria are missing, decay will not happen.

The most common bacteria associated with tooth decay are streptococcus mutans. These bacteria use the sugars found on teeth to create lactic acid which breaks down the enamel. The enamel is the inert, protective coating on the outside of our teeth that preserves the soft inner layers. If it is weakened, the tooth is more susceptible to damage and decay.

The food we eat can provide a meal for the bacteria on our teeth. Foods that are high in sugar or those that can be converted into sugar are what the streptococcus mutans thrive on. Their meal is changed into an acid that erodes the teeth.

Finally, the tooth is the setting where this process occurs. To prevent decay, it is very important to brush or rinse the food items from the teeth after eating. Limit the amount of sugary food or items that will turn into sugar (ex, crackers, chips, cereal ...). Good oral hygiene habits and a well balanced diet will help deter tooth decay.

 

 

Our Services

icon
implants
An implant is a synthetic tooth that is surgically placed into the jawbone. If you've lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health. More
icon
Invisalign®
Consider Invisalign treatment to get the beautiful straight teeth you've always wanted — without braces. A consultation with Dr. Tuesta can determine if Invisalign is right for you. More
icon
Teeth whitening
You deserve a bright, confident smile. Professional, in-office teeth whitening is safe, simple, and one of the fastest ways to improve the beauty and shine of your smile. More
office tour
Take Our
Office Tour