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What You Should Know about Tooth Decay

Dr. Kashfian, dentist in Torrance, believes that understanding tooth decay better will help his patients prevent the problem altogether. Tooth decay is a serious issue that affects millions of Americans. In fact, dental disease is the number one disease in America. In order to help teeth remain cavity free, one must understand how tooth decay sets in.

Many of the foods people eat contain sugars. Sugary foods are not only candies and deserts but also include healthy foods like many fruits and starchy vegetables among other things. Our mouths, as well as the rest of our bodies, naturally contain bacteria. Food is required for bacteria to spread, often in the form of sugars. This is how sugars that are left in our mouths from the foods we eat promote the spread of bacteria.

This process does not necessarily lead to cavities and decay, however. This occurs when the sugars and bacteria are not removed on a regular basis through normal brushing and flossing or when regular oral hygiene cannot clean the bacteria from hard to reach places like crevices in molars. When the bacteria “eat” the sugars, the byproduct is dental plaque. This is the white filmy substance that often appears on teeth.

Dental plaque will then turn into acids which can cause dental enamel to become porous, demineralize the bony tooth structure, and allow bacteria to reach the inner portion of the tooth.

One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay is, along with brushing and flossing, receiving a professional cleaning at the dentist on a regular basis. Contact Dr. Kashfian today to learn more about tooth decay or to schedule a dental exam.

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