Tooth Decay Explained: Preventive Dentistry Practices

Your teeth are like the gatekeepers to the rest of your body. As you eat, drink, or inhale, various foods, liquids, particles, and chemicals your mouth acts as the gateway to your body. Teeth remain an important piece of the oral health puzzle, and they require special treatment just like any A-list celebrity you see on the cinema screen. However, the care your teeth need is specific and finite, meaning it’s manageable by anyone willing to make their teeth a priority. Dr. Smith explains the progression of tooth decay and ways to combat bacteria and dental caries in your mouth in the following article as a part of preventive dentistry.

The Bacteria In Your Mouth

Did you know that at least 600 different kinds of bacteria have been identified to exist in any one person’s mouth? Did you also know that a specific type of anaerobic bacteria is the main culprit in causing tooth decay? The Streptococcus mutans is an anaerobic microorganism that despises oxygen, but it prefers dark, damp environments. As the S. mutans accumulates in the plaque and tartar on your teeth, it feeds on the sugar and starches from your diet, releasing a toxin that demineralizes your enamel. This is how dental caries (cavities) are formed. 

Preventing The S. mutans

Anaerobic bacteria cannot survive in oxygen. This is why S. mutans hides beneath the plaque that may build on your teeth surfaces. To prevent the accumulation of cavity creating bacteria, preventive dentistry practices, such as: brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once a day, and using mouthwash as recommended. 

What If It’s Too Late?

Unfortunately, not all cavities can be prevented with at-home dental care. To reduce your chances of dental caries, attending regular dental checkups and cleanings allows for Dr. Smith to examine and identify various oral health conditions, his professional hygienist to remove the remaining plaque and tartar, and for you to benefit form a clean, healthy smile. 
Also, if S. mutans has caused enough demineralization, a filling may be required to take the place of lost enamel and protect that portion of your tooth from further damage. No matter the tooth decay severity, Dr. Smith and his professional team at Pecan Tree Dental ensure compassionate dental care to any that visit. 

About Dr. Quinn Smith

Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, cosmetic, restorative, and implant dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you’re a new or returning patient, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.