Every second of every day, there’s a never-ending battle being waged inside your mouth. While it might sound a bit dramatic – it’s essentially true. Then again, if your’e on-top of brushing, rinsing, and flossing – it’s usually something that you don’t have to worry about.
That battle, to be more specific, is the one between the enamel on our teeth – protecting the softer, inner layer (dentin) from bacteria, and the acids that slowly fight against your tooth’s enamel to accomplish their goal of thriving, multiplying, and spreading. This little process is known as decay, and while many people understand that decay is always up to no good – they don’t always understand some of the finer points about decay and its relationship with your mouth.
Outside of the fact that decay can lead to cavities and the long term need for treatments like dental bridges, crowns, and other restorative treatments – many patients don’t understand that decay can be reversed.
When your tooth is consistently exposed to acids that cause its enamel to wear away (demineralize), you may star to notice the appearance of small white spots. This is an indication that minerals are being lost – and it’s often one of the first signs of dental decay. At this point, the decay is still reverse-able.
In the quest to avoiding the need for dental restorations, it’s heartening for many patients to understand that your enamel can repair itself – which happens with help from minerals in fluoride, your saliva, your toothpaste, your diet, and many other sources.
On the other hand, if the de-mineralization process goes on for too long – more and more minerals get lost which accelerates the damage to your enamel. This ultimately leads to the formation of a cavity – which, unlike the white spots, are permanent damage. Time and time again, our dentists in Garden Grove repair cavities with a filling – which is typically all the treatment they require. Except for in more serious cases, where larger cavities depend on not just a filling, but a dental crown to encapsulate and protect the tooth from further damage.
Are you experiencing dental pain? Our dentists can help. Learn today whether or not you should visit your family dentist to handle decay and avoid cavities.