Tooth decay, often called a cavity, is the result of bacteria that resides in dental plaque. This bacteria eats the sugar from our diet and then produces acid. The acid eventually begins to demineralize the tooth enamel and severely weaken it. At some point, the acid breaks through the tooth enamel and the bacteria are free to multiply and expand deeper into the tooth.
Typically, individuals do not feel any pain until the decay has reached close to the nerve center of the tooth. Once this occurs, the tooth is unable to repair itself. Your dentist will search thoroughly during your check-ups and try to find cavities when they are small. At this stage, it is easy to remove the decay and repair the tooth. Flossing regularly and brushing your teeth, along with using fluoride to help strengthen the enamel will greatly help you reduce the occurrence of dental decay.
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