Most people understand the importance of regular brushing and flossing. These oral hygiene habits, along with regular dental exams and cleanings, are intended to preserve the health of the teeth and gums by preventing the buildup of bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Despite this understanding, it is common for individuals to experience some degree of tooth decay. In fact, tooth decay is one of the most common oral health problems. Fortunately, when caught early, tooth decay can be treated with restorative dentistry treatments that strengthen and restore damaged tooth enamel. However, when left untreated, tooth decay is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Dr. Bruce Wilderman explains how tooth decay causes tooth loss so that our Philadelphia, PA patients understand the importance of preventative dentistry treatment and early intervention restorative dental care.
Understanding Tooth Decay
To understand the full impact of tooth decay, it is important to understand what causes tooth decay to begin with. The mouth is a warm, moist environment that is continually exposed to the sugars and starches that are found in the foods and beverages. This makes the mouth an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. As plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, bacteria feed on these substances, emitting acids that slowly eat away at healthy tooth structure.
How Tooth Decay Leads to Tooth Loss
Although tooth decay is not ideal, it is often still manageable and can be effectively treated, as long as it is detected in its early stages. As tooth decay advances, more tooth structure is lost and the inner layers of the teeth become exposed. When the inner layers of the teeth (where the nerves and pulp lie) and the gums become affected by tooth decay, tooth loss becomes more of a risk. The nerves at the center of the tooth connect to a tooth’s roots, and the gums are the support structures that help to hold the teeth in place. If either (or both) of these becomes infected, the strength and health of the teeth will be compromised. An infection of the inner tooth (a root canal infection), or an infection of the supportive gum tissues (gum disease) can lead to adult tooth loss.
Preventing Tooth Loss
Good oral hygiene habits and regular dental check-ups are vital to preventing tooth decay. However, even patients who do experience tooth decay do not have to risk the condition progressing to the point of tooth loss. Dr. Wilderman offers a comprehensive range of restorative dental treatments that can address the various stages of tooth decay so that the health of the teeth and gums can be restored before irreversible damage occurs. These dental treatments can eliminate harmful bacteria, plaque, and tartar, and renew the strength of damaged teeth.
If you are concerned about the health of your teeth or gums, it is important to seek professional dental treatment before more serious complications develop. Dr. Bruce Wilderman offers a full range of dental services that allow patients strengthen the teeth and gums, improve oral health, and maintain the beauty of the smile. To learn more about these dental treatments, contact us at your earliest convenience.