Of all the potential threats to your dental health, tooth decay is the most common. Caused by harmful oral bacteria and lingering food particles, decay is the reason behind cavities (or holes) forming in your teeth. The good news is that tooth decay is also highly preventable if you know what causes it and how to protect your smile properly. Today, we examine how tooth decay forms, and how you can save your smile by preventing it or treating it as soon as possible to stop it from progressing.
The Role of Plaque and Tartar
A healthy human mouth is home to hundreds of kinds of oral bacteria, though only a few of them are responsible for tooth decay development. When oral bacteria accumulate, they form dental plaque to protect themselves from being rinsed away by saliva. If you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once, then you can largely control the buildup of plaque and mitigate your risks of tooth decay. Yet, the spots of plaque that you miss can harden into tartar, which can only be removed with regular professional cleaning from your dentist.
Once Tooth Decay Starts
While good hygiene and preventive dental care can help you largely prevent tooth decay, oral bacteria are sneaky and can lead to tooth decay before you realize it. If your dentist notices the signs of decay during your routine examination, then he can recommend appropriate treatment to strengthen and save your tooth before decay becomes too extensive.
Find Out More About Tooth Decay
If your tooth starts to decay, then seeking treatment as soon as possible for the best chance at saving it from extensive damage. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Lake Bluff, Chicago, Libertyville, Gurnee, Highland Park, Vernon hills, Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Bannockburn, Ravinia, and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.