What Causes Decay?

Tooth decay happen when germs also known as bacteria in your mouth that make acids that can eat away at a tooth. It can also create a hole in the tooth, called a cavity.  If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. The sticky substance that forms on teeth is called plaque, and if you don’t brush your teeth the plaque can cause decay. The combination of the sugars and or starches of the foods that we eat stick to your teeth. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel.

The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay. A tooth has three layers, the first layer is the outer layer called enamel, the middle layer is called dentin, and the center of the tooth is called the pulp.  It contains the nerves and blood vessels.  The more layers that are affected by decay, the worse the damage can be.

Some of the symptoms to look for if you think you have a cavity are a toothache which is the most common symptom, swelling in your gums near a sore tooth, if the swelling is not tolerable and constantly hurts it could be signs of a severe cavity with significant decay causing a abscessed tooth.  Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth can be another way to let you know you have decay or white, gray, brown, or black spots on your teeth.

If you think you have a cavity or if your tooth or teeth are bothering you please call our office so Dr. Keefe can address your issues before it gets worse.

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