When a Tooth Decays – A Close Look at Cavities

The good thing about keeping your smile healthy is that, in general, doing so isn’t difficult. However, it does take consistency, which most of us may fail at once in a while. For example, the most common concern – tooth decay – can develop if even a small number of oral bacteria are able to infect your tooth structure. If you slack in your dental hygiene routine and allow too many bacteria to accumulate at once, the substances they produce can erode your tooth enamel and pave the way for the bacteria to start decaying your tooth structure.

From healthy tooth to cavity

Healthy teeth aren’t usually threatened by the daily buildup of oral bacteria. That’s because if you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once, you can largely control this buildup and the formation of plaque on your teeth’s surfaces. However, certain bacteria can produce substances, like acids, that erode the enamel surrounding your healthy teeth. This erosion can lead to a hole, or cavity, developing in your tooth enamel and allowing bacteria to reach the main structure of your tooth. The resulting infection, or decay, will cause the cavity in your tooth grow larger as it progresses further.

Why enamel becomes vulnerable

Your healthy tooth enamel is the most resilient substance that your body produces, so how can it be eroded by something as simple as bacteria? The secret lies in its composition. Enamel gets its resiliency from the extremely elongated mineral strands that make it up. When oral bacteria attack enamel, they sap your teeth of the minerals they need to maintain their healthy enamel. Under the barrage of acids, it can quickly erode and become too weak to stop oral bacteria from causing tooth decay. Fortunately, you can keep your enamel strong and resilient against oral bacteria by keeping your teeth free of plaque with daily good hygiene practices.

Preventing and treating tooth decay

The problem with oral bacteria isn’t that they exist; it’s that, when allowed to accumulate in excess, they produce enough harmful substances to erode your tooth enamel and structures. Therefore, preventing tooth decay and cavities depends on controlling the number of bacteria in your mouth throughout the day by routinely cleaning away the plaque they form. It also requires regular visits to your dentist to professionally clean away tartar (calcified plaque) that you won’t be able to clean with your hygiene tools at home.

Protect your teeth from decay

Tooth decay and cavities can affect almost anyone, making them one of the most common concerns for your smile. For more information, schedule a visit by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY, today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-6930.