You have probably heard before that candies and sweets are bad for your smile, but do you know why? Keep reading to learn more from our Glendale dentists:
The first thing to understand is that a tooth is made up of different layers. The outermost layer is called the dental enamel; this is the hard, white, shiny part of your tooth that you see when you look in the mirror.
Dental enamel is made up of minerals, and it does not contain tooth nerves. Consequently, it is an ideal protective layer of the tooth. Dental enamel keeps bacteria and irritants from affecting the inner layers of the tooth: the dentin and dental pulp.
There are certain things that can wear dental enamel down over time. Acidic substances, for example, lead to demineralization, and weaken natural enamel. Fruit juices, citrus fruits, wine, and soda are all examples of acidic substances. It is best to consume these things in moderation, and, importantly, to consume them in time-limited sittings, rather than continuously throughout the day.
Cavities develop when oral bacteria are able to infect a patient’s tooth—these infections often begin in the dental enamel and then gradually move to the dentin and dental pulp. Here’s where we come to the issue of sugar consumption: the bacteria in your mouth love sugars. Bacteria feed on sugars, and use the energy from them to grow and multiply. Unfortunately, as bacteria proliferate, they release acid as a byproduct. So, not only are bacteria multiplying, they’re also simultaneously weakening your enamel so that they can take root in your teeth.
The goals of dental treatment are to:
- Maintain healthy, strong, and thick dental enamel
- Clear away as much bacteria-laden plaque and tartar as possible—both at home and through professional cleanings
- Minimize acid-related damage by developing good oral hygiene and dietary habits
- Treat developing decay promptly, before it is able to spread throughout the tooth
Our Glendale dentists are here to help you meet these objectives. Please give our office a call to learn more about preventing dental decay, and to schedule a personal consultation with our team. We look forward to speaking with you!