Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the deterioration of your tooth’s enamel (the hard, outer layer of your teeth.) Anyone who has teeth can suffer from tooth decay, including small children, teens, and adults.

How does tooth decay happen?

A sticky film of bacteria called plaque, is constantly building up on your teeth. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria in the plaque feed on the sugar and create acids that stick to the tooth enamel. The acids eat away at the enamel over time, creating tiny holes in the teeth, known as cavities. If cavities go untreated, this is when decay will begin to set in.

Tooth decay most commonly sets in between two teeth and the grooves of the back teeth where it’s difficult for your toothbrush to reach. Decay can also happen along the gum line and can even continue to form beneath the gums. This is why you should be brushing your gums at the same time you brush your teeth!

What can make you more vulnerable to tooth decay?

There are a few things that can increase your susceptibility to tooth decay. These things include:

  • Improper oral hygiene
  • A sugary diet
  • Tobacco use – either smoking, chewing tobacco, or secondhand smoke
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of fluoride in your diet

The treatment for tooth decay will depend on how advanced the decay has become. The sooner you get treatment the better!

How can I protect my teeth against decay?

Below are a few ways you can protect yourself from developing tooth decay:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Limit your sugar intake, or brush your teeth after especially sugary meals
  • Visit the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and exam

If you suffer from any of the tooth decay risk factors and would like to make an appointment, please contact SpringRock Dental today! Our dental office is located in Aurora, CO.

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