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Decay Prevention

The causes of tooth decay stem mainly from what we eat and how we care for our teeth. Tooth decay results from a buildup of dental plaque bacteria. Plaque is a sticky, film-like substance that continually forms on teeth and harbors bacteria. When they meet with starchy or sugary foods, they produce acids that attack teeth.

If plaque isn't removed, it turns into dental tartar, or dental calculus, a hardened deposit of plaque on teeth and beneath the gum line. The problem is, you can't remove tartar on your own -- no matter how hard you brush. The result is that tartar becomes a breeding ground for even more plaque bacteria, which continues to produce the acids that attack teeth. Eventually this breaks down tooth enamel, leading to the holes in teeth known as tooth decay.


How to Cure Tooth Decay

The only way to cure tooth decay is with professional dental treatment. Hopefully, your decay will be diagnosed early enough to be replaced with a tooth filling. If the cavity is too large to fill, a dental crown may be necessary.

While a dentist can cure tooth decay damage, do your part to prevent it in the first place. Oral hygiene is the first step: Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste will help remove plaque, and flossing daily will help keep decay from forming between your teeth. A balanced, low-sugar diet is also essential in protecting yourself against plaque buildup.

If you'd like to learn more about the causes of tooth decay and what you can do to prevent it, talk to your dentist. During dental cleanings, your dentist can clear away plaque and tartar build up, helping to cure tooth decay in its earliest stages.