You've probably had a cavity, as most people have. Cavities are as common as the flu. Thousands of people yearly are screened for and suffer from tooth decay. But did you know that there are ways you can prevent, and possibly even reverse the process?
Tooth decay is a process that occurs over the course of more than a day. It takes more than a single candy bar to create a cavity. Knowing the process and the different stages can go a long way in ensuring that you keep cavities at bay.
What is Tooth Decay?
This is the continual process of erosion of the layers of the tooth. The erosion may get to different levels of the tooth depending on the stage. The more the erosion continues unchecked, the likelihood of that cavity extending all the way to the gum and even beyond gets greater and greater.
The Process of Tooth Decay
Daily, the teeth are in a cycle of erosion and regeneration. The oral cavity is full of bacteria, both helpful and harmful. The harmful bacteria use the starch from food substances to form acids. These acids work to destroy the enamel, the outer layer of the teeth. On the other hand, the good bacteria, along with saliva, fluoride, and other minerals, work to build up and regain the lost layer of enamel through mineralization.
The integrity of the teeth is maintained if these two processes are kept in check and balanced. If the process of erosion gets the upper hand, a small erosion of the enamel layer will occur. At this point, tooth decay is reversible. If this is not replenished, the initially small hole will become slightly bigger and deeper, more and more so until a cavity is formed. This is otherwise known as the point of no return.
So ideally, tooth decay is reversible. It depends on the stage of decay, as well as what measures are kept in check to stop the cavity from progressing. Call us to see how we can help, and remember to visit us regularly so you can stay up to date with what's going on with your teeth,