Tooth decay starts when bacteria that produces acid surrounds the tooth, this bacteria can also be called plaque. Fluoride in your teeth is an important tool in helping to kill decay before it starts to eat your teeth. Healthy teeth have fluoride in the enamel designed to beat the plaque build up.
Practice of poor hygiene and only brushing teeth once or every other day will result in significant tarter and plaque build up around the teeth. Your mouth is full of bacteria that is always there, but only one type of bacteria will produce the acid that corrodes teeth. Decay causing bacteria can be passed from one person to another by sharing the same drink, kissing, or eating from the same plate.
Once decay has set in your tooth's enamel the process will move slowly. The decay will then make its way through your second layer of enamel, it will be heading to the pulp at an increased speed. The part of your tooth that contains your tooth's nerves and blood source is called the pulp. The most crucial area of your tooth is the pulp, and the decay will try to infect the pulp quickly. The pain of your tooth's decay will be most apparent when the decay reaches this point, because the decay will be eating the nerve endings in your tooth.
Tooth decay will typically take around two or three years to make its way through your tooth's enamel. It can take less that even one year, or in some cases six months to reach the pulp. Once the tooth decay reaches the dentin the decay will eat away most of the actual tooth in a matter of months or even weeks. A very preventable type of tooth decay is called smooth decay. Smooth decay begins with a white spot on your tooth, the bacteria will then start to dissolve the enamel of your tooth. Smooth decay generally targets young adults at the ages of twenty through thirty.
Another serious type tooth decay is root decay, which starts out on the surface of your tooth's root. Root decay is usually the result of having a dry mouth, generally not taking good care of your teeth, or eating lots of sugar. Root decay targets those in their middle ages, and if very difficult to prevent. Most people that have root decay have their teeth removed because the decay moves so quickly.
Fissure decay or pit decay is a moderately serious type of tooth decay that begins in the narrow divots near your molars. This kind of decay moves quickly, significantly faster than smooth decay. Most people, during brushing, miss the small grooves because they are hard to reach with every day brushing. Even if you take good care of your teeth a dentist is recommend to clean in these areas during routine checkups.
Tooth decay is very serious, and precautions should be practiced to help prevent it. Some preventive tips included; regular dentist cleaning and checkups, good oral hygiene, and less sugary foods. Using mouthwash is another great way to help prevent tooth decay by killing the bacteria in your mouth. The good news is that regular checkups should keep you from getting one of these extremely serious tooth decay infections in the future. Finding tooth decay sooner rather than later can be the difference in saving your tooth or not, so it is highly recommended to see your dentist regularly.