toothbrush and floss toothbrush floss mouthwashWe’ve all heard that sugar can rot our teeth. But how exactly does sugar contribute to tooth decay? What is it about that delicious sweetener that is so devastating to teeth? Your Waco dentist, Dr. Corbet Locke, has the answer. Read below as he explains how sugar feeds the process of tooth decay.

It All Starts with Bacteria in the Mouth

Ultimately, bacteria in the mouth are responsible for tooth decay. If allowed to linger, bacteria can become very difficult to remove as they form plaque (a sticky, clear film) or tartar (hardened plaque). As plaque or tartar, bacteria are attached to teeth, where they can do damage to them in a concentrated area. But how exactly do bacteria damage teeth?

Sugar’s Role in Tooth Decay

Bacteria damage teeth when they feed on lingering sugar in the mouth. Upon consuming the sugar, bacteria give off an acid byproduct that is capable of stripping teeth of their enamel. As time passes and the acid continues to damage the tooth, a cavity can form, necessitating a dental filling.

The Result of an Untreated Cavity

If left untreated, a tooth with a cavity may continue to deteriorate until the bacteria can access the tooth’s pulp, the innermost, nerve-filled portion of the tooth. Should bacteria reach the pulp, the pulp can become infected, putting the tooth in peril. It is at this point that root canal treatment can intervene by removing the infected pulp so that the structure of the tooth can be preserved. However, if root canal treatment is neglected, the tooth may eventually fall out, and the infection may spread to a different area of the mouth or into the rest of the body, where it can cause illness.

Schedule a Visit with Your Waco Dentist

If you have a cavity, don’t neglect dental assistance. Getting a dental filling can help preserve your tooth and restore your oral health. To schedule an appointment or a consultation, contact your Waco dentist, Dr. Locke at 254-776-4888. We serve patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding communities.