L&R Dental

What Is Dental Decay?

December 14, 2020
Posted By: LR Dental
tooth decay

Rotten teeth, cavities, decay, these are the many names thrown in the air when a tooth structure is compromised due to bacteria. And, it’s one of the most common causes of oral health issues our Toowoomba dentists see.

Decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth which releases acid, and subsequently breaks down the outermost layer called the enamel. The enamel is the toughest part of a tooth and is often compared to the strength of a diamond.

Enamel has the ability to withstand a lot of force and bacteria over its years, however, when mistreated, anything can break down. On the tooth, this bacteria looks white and furry and can also appear yellow when it’s stained. It releases an acid that is quite harmful to the tooth so the sooner you remove this from your tooth the faster your tooth gets back into recovery mode.


How Food Choices Impact Decay

The food choices we make greatly influences the amount of plaque that accumulates on our teeth. Sticky sugary food attracts more bacteria and therefore makes your teeth feel furry when you run your tongue over them, whereas vegetables and food that is naturally high in water content produces more saliva. This produces fewer bacteria as well as increases your saliva flow and washes the bacteria away.


Keep Up With Regular Dental Checks & Cleaning

That is why brushing twice a day and regularly flossing is important in reducing the amount of time the bacteria sits on your teeth. When the enamel starts breaking down, your practitioner can diagnose and help you figure out ways to avoid needing a filling.

It is when the bacteria reach the inner layer that it becomes a worry as the tooth would require a filling. X-rays and regular check-ups are vital in diagnosing dental decay and preventing them from needing major treatment such as root canal treatment.

Regular check-ups are the key to avoiding extensive treatment. To book your next dental checkup or for more information on dental decay, get in touch with our friendly team.