The Dangers of Tooth Decay and Periodontal Disease
Posted on 6/8/2020 by Brian Rounds, DDS
Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease are the two most common oral health problems. Both problems share the same cause: the harmful bacteria in plaque. Plaque is a sticky biofilm that constantly forms on and around our teeth. Without proper dental hygiene, plaque will eventually build up and calcify into ™tartar,™ making it much harder to remove.
The bacteria in plaque feed on the sugars and simple carbohydrates we consume. As they feed, they produce acids that eat away at the top layer of your teeth (the enamel). The deterioration of enamel, also known as tooth decay, causes cavities and requires restorative treatment. If decay is left untreated, the bacteria can spread past the enamel and to ™the pulp,™ threatening the life of the tooth. A root canal is usually the only way to save a tooth with an infection in the pulp.
Periodontal disease is an infection caused by our body's response to the bacteria in plaque. Our immune system produces toxins that are supposed to combat the harmful effects of these bacteria. Unfortunately, the toxins also destroy the healthy tissues that keep our teeth in places, such as our gums, connective ligaments, and the alveolar bone. If periodontal disease is left untreated, tooth loss will occur. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S.
The Importance of Day-to-Day Dental Hygiene
Daily brushing and flossing is the most important part of your dental hygiene. During your regular appointments, Brian K. Rounds, DDS or our dental hygienist will review the proper brushing and flossing techniques. Be sure to brush at least twice daily, with a toothbrush and toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). We may also recommend an antimicrobial mouth rinse if you are at a greater risk for dental diseases.
A balanced and healthy diet can also significantly improve your oral health. Be sure to limit your consumption of sugary snacks and other simple carbohydrates. Vegetables and fruits are much healthier alternatives that can reduce your risk of developing tooth decay.
Schedule Your Appointment
Improve your oral health today! Call (360) 764-5236 to schedule your checkup and professional cleaning.
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