toothcare

Tooth Decay

Plaque

Plaque is a colorless, sticky film that covers your teeth. It creates an environment where bacteria can erode tooth enamel. It can also cause gum irritation, infection in the inner structures such as pulp and the roots, and the worse case is tooth loss.

Some of plaque’s biggest culprits are foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates. These foods include soda beverages, some juices, candy and many kinds of pasta, breads, and cereals.

Plaque will also attack fillings and other restorations. Unfortunately, this can lead to very costly treatment later on.

The main cause of tooth decay is a result of plaque. Plaque can irritate and inflame your gums, causing them to bleed. As time passes, plaque that is underneath your gums could cause periodontal disease. That leads to bone loss and eventual tooth loss.

If you were to take a look at the inside of your teeth, you’d see that decay can gradually destroy the tooth’s inner layer, or dentin.  It can also damage the pulp, which contains essential blood vessels, nerves and other tissues, not to mention the root.

A serious condition called periodontal disease is advanced gum disease. This occurs when the gums and bone or structures that support your teeth will break down from the infection. The signs of periodontal disease include: pain, hypersensitivity and bleeding.

Simple Preventative Measures

What are the two best defenses against tooth decay and gum disease? They start with a healthy, well-balanced diet and good oral hygiene. That hygiene includes daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, as well as flossing and rinsing. Fluoride can be found in most public drinking water. However, if you are unsure of your water supply, use a good quality mouthwash that contains fluoride.

If you want to ensure your oral health, chew sugarless gum. This will stimulate the production of saliva. This is a powerful chemical that actually neutralizes plaque formation. It’s the natural way to rinse decay-causing food particles and debris from your mouth.

There are cases where we can prescribe an anti-cavity rinse. We can also apply special anti-cavity varnishes or sealants that will help fight decay.