Simply having teeth means that your smile is subject to dental diseases, including the most widespread one—tooth decay (the infection that causes cavities). Even if none of your teeth exhibit cavities yet, the disease can be quietly working to undermine your teeth’s defenses and destroy their structures. To help you protect your smile from infectious tooth decay and the damage it causes, your Miller, IN dentist, Dr. Nicholas Cain, explains how the disease develops, and better yet, how to defeat the issue before it gains a foothold on your teeth.
Introducing Oral Bacteria
Although many people agree that dental plaque (the sticky substance that occasionally defaces your teeth’s surfaces) is worth removing, they don’t always realize the danger it poses if it remains. Aside from being uncomfortable, plaque contains over 600 different kinds of oral bacteria. Some of these germs are benign, maybe even necessary, to continuing good oral health. However, the most destructive dental issues (including tooth decay) stem from the malicious bacteria that contribute to plaque formation. In particular, the bacterium Streptococcus mutans produces acid that destroys tooth enamel, making teeth vulnerable to decay-causing germs.
A Little Control Goes a Long Way
Hopefully, you know that brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is the most important and effective measure for controlling potentially dangerous dental plaque on a daily basis. Unfortunately, these germs are an inherent presence in your mouth. Since you can’t completely eradicate them, controlling their presence is the next best thing. Refrain from snacking excessively throughout the day to prevent feeding acid-producing bacteria, reducing the amount of acid that they can produce. Also, be sure to diligently attend your six-month dental checkups and cleanings so that Dr. Cain can thoroughly clean your teeth and gums of dental plaque and its calcified form, tartar. Your examination will also include a thorough inspection to detect early signs of tooth decay and defeat it before it can irreversibly damage your teeth.
About Nicholas Cain, DDS:
Dr. Nicholas Cain has been fascinated with the art and science of dentistry since an early age after long talks with his uncle, who was a practicing dentist in Tennessee. After earning his dental degree from the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Dr. Cain served at his family’s practice in Tennessee, learning from his childhood mentors and further honing his skills. Recently, Dr. Cain returned to his native northwest Indiana to open his own practice, and continues to provide excellent cosmetic, preventive, and restorative dentistry to the community that raised him. To schedule your family’s next dental appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.