O’Fallon Dentists Explains The Ins and Outs Of How Dental Decay Develops
The more you know about how teeth become damaged and infected, the better you’ll be able to protect your smile from deterioration. Our O’Fallon dentists are here to help you get the information that you need. Let’s get started!
Your teeth are designed to be somewhat resistant to damage and infection. The outer layer of your tooth—called the dental enamel—is hard and pretty non-porous. This layer of your tooth protects the inner layers from everything that you eat and drink, as well as oral bacteria.
The problem is that dental enamel is not invincible. Over time, dental enamel can become less effective at resisting damaging forces. This may happen because:
· Your dental enamel thins due to acid erosion
· Your dental enamel thins due to chronic pressure and grinding
· Your dental enamel becomes fractured or chipped
· Oral bacteria are able to sit on your enamel long-term
Once your enamel is weakened—more porous—it is easier for oral bacteria to worm their ways into your tooth. Oral bacteria will make it through your dental enamel, and move on to the dentin and the dental pulp. Because both dentin and the dental pulp are pretty porous, an infection can run rampant through these layers of the tooth.
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely avoid oral bacteria—bacteria will always develop and accumulate in your mouth. So the best things that you can do are to:
· Clean your mouth regularly in order to clear away newly developed bacteria (and keep the general # of bacteria in your mouth to a minimum)
· Maintain healthy dental enamel, so that it can resist oral health threats
Now that you know how dental decay pops up, you can take healthy steps to protect your smile! Call our O’Fallon dentists if you want more information.