What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decayThe lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure., what is the cause?

If your daily diet includes a high amount of carbohydrates and sugary foods, you could be at risk of developing tooth decay. Additionally, if you do not have a rigorous dental hygiene routine this could exacerbate the situation and lead to some greater problems in the future.

Our mouths are full of bacteria, and these bacteria will grow and become dental plaque. When you consume food and drinks that are heavy in carbohydrates, bacteria use the energy they produce and releases acid. This acid attacks the tooth and breaks down enamelHard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth. leading to cavities, which are the holes in your teeth.

Bacteria is then able to use the cavities to get inside the tooth and infect the dentinThe part of the tooth that is beneath the enamel and cementum.. Dentin is found inside the tooth but is much weaker than enamel and consequently more susceptible to decay. Once bacteria and decay have spread here, it can easily reach the pulpConnective tissue containing blood vessels and nerve tissue which occupies the pulp cavity of a tooth. in the centre of your tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. At this point, you begin to feel a great deal of pain, as the decay has reached the nerves and the bacteria has spread throughout the tooth.

To combat tooth decay, as well as maintaining a good diet and avoiding foodstuffs containing sugar, you need to visit your dentist for check-ups at least twice a year, brush twice a day and floss daily. By doing this you can prevent tooth decay from appearing.

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