Dental decay is essentially the weakening/softening of the tooth structure, sometimes to the point where holes are visible in the teeth. Decay can appear as dark and discoloured areas of the teeth, but it can also be completely invisible to the naked eye. Generally the amount of infected tissue is much larger than the damage seen from the tooth surface – rather like what you see of an iceberg from above the water, compared to what you see below the surface.
How does decay form?
Bacteria (the fuzzy stuff we call plaque), continually builds up on the teeth. When the bacteria combines with sugar, it produces acid which breaks down protective minerals in the teeth. This leads to soft, infected tissue breakdown in the teeth.
How can you prevent dental decay?
As they say, prevention is better than cure – which is always true in dentistry!
Follow these ten simple steps for a brighter, healthier, decay-free smile.
Is decay treatable?
In some cases, if diagnosed early enough decay is reversible. If decay is too severe or advanced for reversal, the affected tooth may require a filling. In extreme cases, extensive decay can lead to root canal infection, which can only be treated with root canal treatment or extraction of the infected tooth.
To avoid the need for treatments such as these, follow our 10 simple steps and prevent decay from ever forming in the first place!
Time for a check up?
Contact the friendly team at The Smile Clinique to book your next general dental health check.