What is Tooth Decay?

Online Dental Education Library

Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Bridge

Bridge vs Implant

Bruxism

Caring for Dental Implant

Caring for Implant Supported Bridge

Caring for Traditional Bridge

Causes of Tooth Pain

Composite Filling (Posterior)

Composite vs Amalgam Filling

Consequence of Bone Loss

Cracked Tooth

Debridement

Dental Erosion

Endodontic Abscess

Filling vs Crown

Gingivitis

Gingival Probing & Pocket Depth

Gingival Recession

Healthy Gums

Impacted 3rd Molars

Implant Supported Bridge

Manual vs Electric Toothbrush

Missing Teeth

Non-Carious Cervical Lesions

Occlusal Appliance for Tooth Wear

Oral Hygiene

Progression of Decay

Plaque and Calculus

Progression of Decay

Proper Brushing Techniques

Proper Flossing Techniques

Root Canal

Root Canal with Post-Core Buildup

Root Canal with Post Core Impression

Recurrent Decay Around Restoration

Scaling and Root Planing

Single Crown

Single Implant

Single Tooth Loss

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Tooth Wear

Trauma-Chipped Tooth

Understanding Tooth Wear

Veneers

Whitening with Bleaching Trays

What Does it Mean to Have Healthy Gums?

Why Do Teeth Crack?

What is Occlusion?

What is TMD?

Plaque is an insidious substance—a colorless, sticky film—that blankets your teeth and creates an environment in which bacteria erode tooth enamel, cause gum irritation, infection in inner structures such as pulp and the roots, and in extreme cases, tooth loss.

Some of the biggest culprits causing plaque are foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates, including soda beverages, some juices, candy and many kinds of pasta, breads and cereals.

Plaque also can attack fillings and other restorations in your mouth, which can lead to more costly treatment down the road.

Plaque is the main cause of tooth decay.  It can also cause your gums to become irritated, inflamed, and bleed. Over time, the plaque underneath your gums may cause periodontal disease, which can lead to bone loss and eventual tooth loss.

Inside your teeth, decay can gradually destroy the inner layer, or dentin.  It can also destroy the pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissues, as well as the root. 

Periodontal disease is advanced gum disease. This serious condition occurs when the structures that support your teeth—the gums and bone—break down from the infection.  Pain, hypersensitivity and bleeding are some of the signs of periodontal disease.

Simple Preventative Measures

The two best defenses against tooth decay and gum disease are a healthy, well-balanced diet and good oral hygiene, including daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing and rinsing. Most public drinking water contains fluoride, but if you are unsure of your water supply, then use a good quality mouth rinse containing fluoride.

A good way to help your oral health between brushing is chewing sugarless gum; this stimulates your body's production of saliva, a powerful chemical that actually neutralizes plaque formation and rinses decay-causing food particles and debris from your mouth.

In some cases, our office can prescribe anti-cavity rinses or apply special anti-cavity varnishes or sealants to help fight decay.


Maryville, TN Dentist Sean Sinclair, DDS 1117 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy Maryville, TN 37804 (865) 681-3004 Call For Financing Options