How Does Tooth Decay Happen? Your Dentist in Plano Goes In-Depth
April 26, 2019
Since childhood, you’ve probably been hearing about the threat of cavities and the importance of visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups. What has been missing, though, is an explanation of what really causes the decay, as well as a breakdown of the anatomy of the tooth. Finally, you’ll get the answers you need from your dentist in Plano!
The Makeup of Your Tooth
One of the best ways to protect your tooth’s health is to understand its anatomy, so let’s take a look at its different parts.
The outer layer of the tooth is the enamel, which consists of a crystalline mineral called hydroxyapatite. Its primary functions are to provide the hardness needed to chew food and to protect the more sensitive inner area of the tooth from leftover debris, bacteria and acids.
The layer beneath the enamel is the dentin, which is where the first signs of nerve activity can be found. Because of the sensitivity, if decay gets to this area, you can start to experience discomfort.
The most sensitive area of the tooth is the pulp. Here you’ll find the canals housed that usher in nutrients from the blood. By the time decay gets to this part of the tooth, the damage is usually too severe for the tooth to just be restored with a filling.
Instead, you may need root canal therapy, which involves the removal of the nerve, a special filling being added and the placement of a new restoration.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
It’s always much easier to maintain the health of your tooth than it is to restore it. Here are some tips that will aid in your quest:
- Perform Oral Hygiene Consistently – At a minimum, you should brush and floss your teeth at least two times a day. This will help to remove food particles and bacteria that can eventually bore into your tooth’s enamel.
- Monitor Your Sugar Intake – In addition to keeping your teeth clean, it’s important to monitor what you consume. Dessert items, candy, sodas and juices are notorious for being loaded with sugar, so consider healthier options like fruits and sugar-free treats.
- Visit Your Dentist for Preventive Care – Yes, it’s still important to visit your dentist. It will save you money and prevent any unnecessary suffering by identifying any problems so your dentist can address them early.
There’s No Time Like the Present
Now that you’re better educated about the necessity of visiting your dentist for preventive care and maintaining other helpful habits, the next logical step is to reach out to your local dentist to schedule a preventive care visit today!
About the Author
Dr. Bita Kamali earned her dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. Throughout her career, she has stayed on the cutting edge by providing her patients with top-notch care using the latest in technological and procedural advancements. Dr. Kamali offers preventive care at Parkway Vista Dental, and she can be reached for more information through her website.