Tooth Decay East Los Angeles
Tooth decay is something that happens to everyone over time. Any East Los Angeles dentist will tell you that they see it in just about every older patient they have. Of course, it happens to some people faster than others, depending on genetic and lifestyle factors. The following are three causes of tooth decay seen by East Los Angeles dentists that occur naturally in the mouth.
Natural Substances in the Mouth that Cause Tooth Decay
- Bacteria - The human mouth is the home to many different kinds of bacteria. Some of these cause tooth decay and some actually fight against the two kinds of bacteria that can be a factor in tooth decay, Streptococcus mutans, and Lactobacilli.
- Plaque - Plaque is a soft substance that starts forming on teeth just a few hours after they are cleaned. It is a combination of bacteria, saliva, and other substances that work to cause damage to the tooth they are attached to.
- Calculus - Calculus is a hard, calcium-like buildup on the teeth that occurs once plaque hardens. It can actually become part of the tooth with soft plaque being developed on top of it in layers. Each layer hardens one after the other if not addressed, creating problems for the tooth that include tooth decay. East Los Angeles Dentists have seen some very drastic calculus buildups if they aren't attended to.
It's Not Just Your Diet
While a bad diet and poor daily dental care are commonly thought of as the biggest culprits when it comes to tooth decay, these are some natural substances in the mouth that can cause the same issues. There is one naturally-occurring thing everyone has in their mouth that helps fight plaque, though.
Saliva is your Lone Natural Defense
Saliva is the one thing your body creates in the mouth that can help fight tooth decay. Minerals contained in saliva are advantageous when it comes to fighting particles that can damage teeth. Saliva also washes away food particles in the mouth that can build up and cause problems.
How Does Tooth Decay Happen?
Just like you, the bacteria in your mouth needs to eat. When you eat sugary and starchy foods, the bacteria also devours it, leaving behind acidic substances that wear down the outer enamel of the tooth. Over time, this can cause the tooth to wear down and even break.
Not Just Candy
People are often under the impression that avoiding sweets like candy is all they need to know to avoid tooth decay. While this is true, there are plenty of other foods causing the same issue. As a general rule, it is a good idea to avoid eating fermentable carbohydrates because they are broken down into simple sugars by saliva when ingested which bacteria will turn into acid.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Any East Los Angeles Family Dentistry professional will tell you the best way to fight tooth decay is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are three things you can do to prevent tooth decay, reduce the number of bacteria in the teeth, avoid foods that cause tooth decay, and have good dental hygiene. If you have extreme genetic issues with tooth decay, you may want to get regular fluoride treatments with your dentist. Your dental hygienist can also place a protective sealant on your more vulnerable teeth. The most important thing to do is visit your dentist at least twice a year.