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Understanding The Root Causes Of Tooth Decay

Last updated 6 years ago

Our teeth are important for a number of functions, including chewing, swallowing, speaking, and breathing. From the time of our first visit, our dentists are constantly telling us of the importance of maintaining great dental hygiene habits in order to maintain great oral health. Many dentists suggest brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing your teeth once a day. These good habits can help remove buildup from foods and beverages that are consumed throughout the day, keeping the teeth clean from plaque and other harmful items. Removing plaque is an important step in avoiding tooth decay —a problem that affects one-half of children ages 12 to 15 and many adults as well.

Tooth decay attacks the enamel, eventually leading to cavities and potentially tooth loss. Speaking with your general dentist will help you understand more about tooth decay. In order to protect yourself from this problematic condition, it’s important to first understand the root causes of tooth decay:

  • Sugary foods and drinks. The sugar fuels bacteria inside the mouth. As bacteria feed on the sugar, acid is produced.
  • Plaque. The acids combine with the bacteria and your saliva to produce a substance known as plaque. This sticky film forms a layer over your teeth. Plaque can be felt with the tongue.
  • Enamel erosion. Eventually the plaque can form small holes in the enamel of your teeth. These holes can become larger and form cavities in your teeth.

If left untreated, tooth decay can eventually lead to severe pain and swelling in the gums, as well as serious problems with the pulp and bone supporting the teeth. Here at The Smile Design Center in Baltimore, our team of cosmetic, implant, and sedation dentists can offer the best in tooth decay prevention with our highly successful fluoride treatment. We can help you maintain a beautiful, glowing, and healthy smile.


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