Tooth decay occurs from the buildup of plaque acids on your teeth. After eating a meal or snack, bacteria in your mouth start working (they’re especially fond of meals that contain carbohydrates and sugars) and break down leftover particles of food, which produces acids. The acids then combine with debris in the mouth to form a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque tends to deposit on molars and near the gum line of teeth.

Plaque acids build up quickly, within 20 minutes after eating, and can be destructive to your dental health. Plaque continues to harbor these acids and is the leading cause of periodontal disease, or gum disease. “When acids are left on the teeth, they demineralize the teeth,” says Jolene R. Zirnheld, DMD, of the Louisville Center for Cosmetic Dentistry in Louisville, Kentucky. In other words, acids make the enamel of the tooth weaker. If the weakened tooth continues to decay, then a hole, called a tooth cavity, will form. If a cavity is left untreated, the tooth decay will continue, and the cavity will enlarge. An abscess, or infection, may develop, and eventually, the tooth can be destroyed.

  1. Brush Frequently
  2. Floss Daily
  3. Get Regular Dental Checkups
  4. Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
  5. Drink Tap Water
  6. Get Sealants

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