Tooth decay is usually caused by bacterial plaque buildup on teeth over time. Foods high in carbohydrates, such as sugary foods and drinks, feed the bacteria in our mouth to produce more acid. This acid is what breaks down the surface of our teeth, causing holes in teeth that are known as cavities. Once our teeth are damaged, the plaque and bacteria can reach the soft dentine and eventually reach the nerve, causing serious toothache. In short, a mixture of a poor diet and poor dental hygiene causes tooth decay.
One of the best ways to deal with tooth decay is to prevent it in the first place. Decay prevention involves healthy oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing and flossing, as well as a healthy diet that is low in sugar.
Unfortunately when decay has penetrated into dentine (the second layer of the tooth), a filling may be required. In some cases, it may be necessary to use a crown to cover and protect the tooth, if the destruction is extensive. Root canal treatments may be necessary to eliminate toothache caused by decay that has gone into the nerve.
When left untreated, dental decay often leads to eventual pain and infection of the dental nerve. In some patients this means a root canal treatment or even a dental extraction. Prevention is better than cure. If you think you have a decay forming, make sure to come in as soon as possible. The sooner we can help you, the better the outcome is for your teeth. If you’d like to learn more about tooth decay treatments, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today for more information.