Decay in a tooth is damage that takes place when bacteria have found their way into your mouth, forming acid that erodes the tooth. Eventually, this erosion can get so bad that a hole in the tooth is created. The dental term for this type of erosion is a cavity. If left untreated, tooth decay can result in an infection developing, with its accompanying pain. Further down the track, the tooth could be lost or may need to be extracted by your Burlington, Ontario dentist.
A tooth consists of 3 layers
When decay starts, each layer in turn becomes affected and the deeper the decay, the worse effect it has on the tooth.
What is the cause of tooth decay?
Food and bacteria can lead to tooth decay. This all begins in the sticky, clear substance called plaque which constantly forms on the teeth and surrounding gums. Contained within the plaque are bacteria that thrive off the sugars found in food. In the process of feeding the bacteria form acids which wage an attack on the teeth up to twenty minutes following eating. Eventually, the acids destroy the enamel, which causes the onset of decay.
There are a number of reasons for tooth decay. Many of these are preventable and include: