Have you ever heard of dentin? Few people realize the importance of this layer of inner tooth structure. In today’s blog, your Lake Forest dentist, Dr. James Fondriest, explains the importance of protecting your dentin and preventing tooth decay.
What is Dentin?
The surface of our tooth teeth is coated in a protective layer known as tooth enamel. Our tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. Beneath the enamel is a sensitive layer of dentin. Composed of calcified tissue, dentin makes up the majority of the tooth structure. Dentin also surrounds the inner pulp, which is made of living cells and keeps the tooth healthy and functioning. Miniscule tunnels, known as tubules, traverse the dentin and contain fluids and cells known as odontoblasts.
Protecting Your Teeth
When bacteria bypass the enamel and reach the dentin, tooth decay can form. Patients often report sensitivity or toothaches once bacteria invade the dentin. Tooth enamel can be damaged by a variety of factors. Fractures and chips in the enamel often occur following injury or from chewing hard foods, such as ice or popcorn kernels. When this happens, bacteria enter through the fractures or chips, reaching the dentin and forming cavities. Bacteria can also break down food particles in your mouth, increasing the presence of oral acids. Over time, oral acids may cause enamel erosion, which leaves openings for bacteria. If left untreated, the resulting tooth decay from exposed dentin can eventually reach to pulp. Infection begins, which can kill the tooth and even spread to surrounding teeth.
The best method of protecting your dentin is with preventive dentistry. Proper dental habits help keep your tooth enamel strong. Brush twice a day and floss once. Try rinsing your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash. These steps aid in cleansing the mouth of food particles and harmful bacteria. Attend regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Fondriest. Checkups enable Dr. Fondriest to watch for the earliest stages of tooth decay and prescribe immediate treatment.
Schedule a Visit with Your Lake Forest General Dentist
To protect your dentin and preserve your smile, attend regular checkups and cleanings from Dr. Fondriest. Call your Lake Forest general dentist at 847-234-0517. Our office offers the latest in general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry and welcomes patients from Lake Forest and North Shore suburbs of Chicago.