Keeping your teeth bright and free of stains doesn’t just make your smile sparkle. Regular dental hygiene also protects an important part of your teeth that you can’t even see. In today’s blog, your Lake Forest dentist, Dr. James Fondriest, explains he importance of protecting your dental pulp.
What is Dental Pulp?
In the center of your tooth lies a mass of living cells and tissue. Otherwise known as pulp, this tissue beneath your dentin and tooth enamel keeps your tooth alive. Without your pulp, the tooth becomes starved of nutrients and brittle.
Protect Your Pulp
The biggest threat to the pulp is bacterial infection. Your teeth contain three major layers. The outside layer is known as tooth enamel. The hardest substance in the human body, tooth enamel protects your teeth from tooth decay. Beneath the enamel is the dentin. This layer of tooth structure surrounds the pulp. Cavities form when tooth enamel becomes weak and bacteria reaches the dentin. Bacteria can move past the enamel if the tooth is damaged from cracks or chips, or if poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to break down food particles and multiply. As bacteria feed on food particles, the presence of oral acids increases. Soon, these acids leave enamel vulnerable and weak. Once bacteria reach the dentin, tooth decay begins. You may experience toothaches or sensitivity to hot and cold foods or drinks. When bacteria finally reach the pulp, the tooth becomes infected and painful. Eventually, the pulp could die, effectively killing your tooth.
Once tooth decay reaches the pulp, Dr. Fondriest can perform a root canal to extract the infected tissue. A crown will be placed over the tooth, to protect and preserve the remaining tooth structure. But the best way to safeguard your smile is with preventive dentistry. Maintaining good oral hygiene helps avoid tooth decay that can endanger your pulp. Brush twice a day, and floss at least once. Try to rinse regularly with antibacterial mouthwash. These simple steps help cleanse the mouth of harmful bacteria and stray food particles. Checkups and cleanings allow Dr. Fondriest to watch for the early warning signs of decay and prescribe appropriate treatment to protect your tooth.
Schedule a Visit with Your Lake Forest General Dentist
Remember to protect your smile with checkups and cleanings from Dr. Fondriest. We offer patients a variety of general, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures. Call your Lake Forest general dentist at 847-234-0517.
Our practice serves the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs