Whenever we hear the words “tooth decay”, the first thing that comes to mind is a cavity, an image that is generally accompanied by mounds of candy. Cavities are actually not all that uncommon of a condition. In fact, the odds are incredibly high that you will have to treat a cavity at some point in your life. Unfortunately, not many people realize that tooth decay can actually damage a tooth to the point where the only solution available will be to have that tooth removed. However, with dental implants, we can replace any teeth you might have lost to tooth decay. If you would like to learn more about how tooth decay can affect your teeth, please continue reading.
The Anatomy of a Tooth
Before we can talk about how tooth decay affects your teeth, we must first talk about the various tissues that make up your teeth. With this knowledge, you will be better able to understand why tooth decay can cause pain and sensitivity.
Our teeth are made up of four layers:
- Enamel: The outermost layer of your tooth is called the enamel. Enamel is a highly mineralized material that protects the inner layers of your teeth from harm.
- Dentin: Another highly mineralized tissue that makes up your teeth is called dentin. Not only does this tissue provide an additional layer of defense for your teeth, but it also distributes nutrition throughout your teeth.
- Cementum: Cementum is another hard tissue in your teeth, though it is not as strong as the enamel or dentin. Cementum works to protect your tooth roots from damage while also anchoring the tooth to the underlying jawbone.
- Pulp: The innermost layer of a tooth is called the pulp and it is composed of connective tissue, nerve tissue, lymph and blood vessels, and odontoblasts. If the pulp of your tooth is exposed, you will experience pain and sensitivity.
How Does Tooth Decay Happen?
It is actually a myth that sugar is the direct cause of tooth decay. While there is some truth in this statement, sugar is not actually completely responsible for tooth decay. The real perpetrator is plaque, which is an organic substance that naturally forms on your teeth throughout the day. Sugar actually works to help attract plaque to your teeth. Plaque is dangerous for your teeth because it creates acids that will proceed to eat away at your teeth. It is this process specifically that we refer to as tooth decay and, should it manage to get past the enamel and other natural defenses of your teeth, you may experience pain and damage that can only be stopped by having the infected tooth removed.
Replace Teeth Lost to Tooth Decay with Dental Implants
Do you currently live in the Redwood City or Dublin, CA area and have lost a tooth to tooth decay? Then you may qualify for treatment with dental implants from Dr. Ihab Hanna here at Redwood City Dental Care. Dental implants make a great treatment for teeth lost to tooth decay because not only do they function and feel just like natural teeth, but the fact that they are made from titanium and porcelain makes them immune to the effects of tooth decay. If you would like to learn more about how tooth decay can affect your smiles and what can be done to stop it, we encourage you to contact us and schedule a no-obligation consultation with dental implant provider Dr. Ihab Hanna today.