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How Does Tooth Decay Actually Develop?

Most people are aware of the term tooth decay and what it means for their dental health. For example, you may remember being told quite often as a child about the dangers of eating too much sugar and the cavities they’ll cause, which result from tooth decay. However, not everyone understands the true nature and severity of tooth decay. For example, sugar isn’t its only cause, and neglecting to catch it in time can lead to serious oral health problems in the future. Today, we help you beef up your protection against tooth decay and cavities by examining how they actually develop, and what can happen if you don’t address your tooth decay as soon as possible.

The Origins of a Cavity

Tooth decay is the process of oral bacteria systematically destroying your natural tooth structure, and it all starts at your tooth’s outer layer – or enamel. Oral bacteria convert sugars and other carbs into acids, which weaken enamel and make it harder for your teeth to replenish it by sapping them of minerals. Once enamel has decayed enough, the bacteria can interact with your main tooth structure and erode it, as well, creating a cavity (hole) in their wake as the decay progresses. The longer you wait to treat tooth decay, the larger the cavity grows and the more extensive treatment you’ll need to fix it.

How It Gets Worse with Time

The problem with tooth decay isn’t that it can’t be prevented. On the contrary, a consistently good hygiene routine and regular preventive dental care can help improve your chances of successfully preventing tooth decay for life. The biggest problem is that, once it develops, it continues to destroy your tooth. Eventually, it can reach the vital nerves and tissues at the tooth’s center, called the pulp. The pulp is connected to the root canal, which carries these vital tissues to your jawbone, and internal infection can compromise these structures as well as lead to intense tooth discomfort.

Learn How to Protect Your Teeth from Decay

Tooth decay may develop easily if you lack in your hygiene or preventive dental care routines. However, you can prevent extensive tooth damage by treating it as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment, call Lathrop Dental Center in Katy, TX at 832-437-3849. We proudly welcome patients and families from Katy, Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, Cypress, Sealy, Columbus, and all surrounding communities.