You have plenty to worry about when it comes to your smile. Are your teeth still bright? Is there anything stuck between them? Is that slight sensitivity something you should worry about? Tooth decay, however, comes with its own unique set of worries, such as are you at risk for it, do you already have it, and how bad can it actually be? As the most common dental health issue, you should be especially worried about tooth decay and the cavities they leave in their wake.
Why Tooth Decay Can Affect Anyone
The bacteria that kick-start the decay process are also building blocks of dental plaque—the bio-film that sticks to everyone’s teeth. Even when you think you’ve brushed and flossed them all away, oral bacteria can hide in hard-to-reach places. If you allow plaque to calcify into tartar, the tooth decay-causing bacteria will remain until your dentist or hygienist cleans them away. In the meantime, they can continue attacking your teeth, eventually infecting them with decay if not addressed in time.
What Tooth Decay Can Do, If Allowed To
Specifically, tooth decay describes an infection in your tooth caused by exposure to bacteria. To reach the tooth, certain microbes convert carbohydrates (like sugars and starches) into acids that eat away the enamel protecting it. If you don’t brush and floss adequately enough, or visit your dentist for cleanings and checkups often enough, the acids will leave your teeth defenseless against infection. As the bacteria ravish your tooth structure, they leave a hole, or cavity, in their wake, which will grow larger the longer it’s left untreated. In severe cases, the infection can render the tooth untreatable, and it may require an extraction and replacement.
ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS DENTIST:
With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.