Tooth decay is the destruction of the enamel of the tooth. Tooth decay is also known as dental caries or cavities. Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria that accumulate on the tooth enamel.
The acids that cause tooth demineralization are created by particular types of microorganisms that live in dental plaque. These bacteria are living microorganisms. Bacteria get their food from sugar and starch from the food that a person consumes. When they eat these foods, the microorganisms create an acid that attack the tooth enamel and cause decay.
The bacteria that cause tooth decay use sugar as their food source. The waste material created from processing these sugars are the acids that cause the demineralization of tooth enamel and dentin. Within minutes they start creating the acids that cause tooth decay. It may take up to several hours for spit to penetrate the layer of dental plaque and counteract these acids.
Using fluorides at home and in the dentist office might help to repair the tooth. If not treated accordingly the demineralization continues. After the enamel surface is broken, the tooth cannot be repaired.
The cavity has to be cleaned and repaired by a dentist. If decay is left untreated, it will reach the tooth pulp, which includes nerves and blood vessels. An abscess or a fistula can develop in the soft tissues.
Cavities can be prevented by brushing and flossing after each meal or snack. Spend some time when you are brushing and flossing. Those places that you do not clean efficiently are precisely the places where cavities will be more than likely to form.
Tooth decay is a very common problem and proper cleaning and flossing and regular dental check up is the ideal way to prevent this from happening in the first place.
Also, try to avoid candies, cookies, sodas and sweet drinks. Even if you have them, wash your mouth immediately after consuming them. Also, wash your mouth immediately after consuming anything.