Have you ever had a cavity? Considering the fact that 90% of adults in America have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth, chances are that you have. When tooth decay is caught early, it is easily treatable without invasive procedures, and can sometimes be reversed. Once it progresses enough to cause tooth sensitivity, time is of the essence as the cavity threatens your tooth’s integrity.
Acid Attacks Against Tooth Enamel
A common misconception about cavities is that sugar is their main cause. Although not completely true, sugar does play an important role in tooth decay formation. It fuels certain oral bacteria which convert it, along with other fermentable carbohydrates, into acid. Because these bacteria contribute to dental plaque, they excrete this acid onto the surfaces of your teeth where plaque accumulates.
Some foods, however, are naturally acidic and can harm your teeth without the help of bacteria. Either way, organic acid weakens your tooth enamel (enamel erosion) and saps minerals from your teeth to prevent enamel from regaining its strength. Eventually, the enamel grows too weak to repel bacteria from your tooth’s main structure, and a cavity soon follows.
Bacteria Attacks Against Your Teeth
Directly underneath the enamel that surrounds and protects your teeth lies a softer material called dentin, which makes up the main structure of your tooth. Unlike enamel, dentin is not solid, but contains small tubules that lead to your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels housed in the pulp (at the center).
After enamel has eroded, the dentin is subject to bacteria, food debris, and other irritants, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. If your tooth begins to ache, infection and decay may have already set in and endangered your tooth. If left untreated, the decay will continue until the tooth requires extraction or is lost on its own.
Your Los Angeles Dentists
At A New Smile Dental, our experienced dentists strive to offer each patient individual care and access to high-quality, modern dentistry at an affordable price. We are hear to help answer any questions you may have about your dental care.
Our state of art offices are proud to serve residents of: Eagle Rock, Pacoima, San Fernando, Granda Hills, Highland Park, Pasadena, Glendale, Sherman Oaks and all surrounding communities. Contact us today!