Tooth Decay: Cause and Effect

When it comes to tooth decay, the list of causes is seemingly endless. From the foods you eat to a lack of cleaning, there’s a variety of factors that pose a threat to the health of your teeth. Whichever it may be, proper care for your teeth can reduce your risk of tooth decay and eliminate the need for dental implants.

Your teeth consist of three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. Without proper care, each of these layers can be damaged, ultimately leading to decay. At Pryor Family Dental, we know the importance of protecting every layer of your teeth, but not every patient does. We’ve compiled a list of causes to ensure our patients know the severity of tooth decay and how to avoid it.

Common Causes

Like we said, there are numerous foods, drinks, and other factors that lead to tooth decay. By avoiding these, in addition to a thorough dental hygiene routine, you can fight off tooth decay and keep your smile healthy and clean. Take a look at some common causes of tooth decay below:

  • Lack of Brushing and Flossing – Brushing and flossing remove plaque and harmful bacteria from the surface and gaps of your teeth. The plaque and bacteria that remain on your teeth will ultimately cause decay.
  • Sugar-filled Foods – The bacteria in your mouth feeds on the sugars found in candy, soda, fruit juices, and much more. If you have trouble avoiding these, be sure to brush and floss after eating for drinking.
  • Lack of Fluoride – Fluoride helps your teeth fight off acids from plaque. While it can be found in water supply, fluoride toothpastes are a great option for your teeth.
  • Dry Mouth – Much like fluoride, the saliva in your mouth helps rid your teeth of sugars and protects tooth enamel.
  • Tobacco – Whether it’s smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, it’s harmful to both your teeth and gums. Tobacco not only discolors teeth, but also can result in tooth loss and even mouth cancer.

Effects of Tooth Decay

Though cavities are often easily repaired with fillings, treating more severe forms of tooth decay is not so simple. These more in-depth treatments may require more trips to the dentists, more money, and even tooth extraction. Here is a short list of treatments for tooth decay:

  • Crowns – In less severe cases, crowns are used to replace part of the damaged tooth.
  • Root Canals – A more invasive treatment, root canals remove infected pulp from your tooth, requiring a hole to be drilled into your tooth.
  • Dental Implants – When a tooth is severely damaged by decay, it will need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant.

Tooth decay can have damaging effects on your teeth and calls for professional treatment. Fortunately, Pryor Family Dental specializes in dental implants. We care about the health of your teeth and strive to provide our patients with the best care possible. If you’re concerned about the health of your teeth, contact us today. We are more than happy to help.