Tooth decay, also known as a cavity, occurs when bacteria in your mouth eats away at the enamel on your teeth. This produces dark stains, pits, and holes in the surface of your teeth. If left untreated, it’s possible that the decay can loosen your teeth or even cause them to fall out. If this happens to you, can you still save your smile with dental implants? The answer is yes, and this is how!
Layers of the Tooth
First of all, let’s explore the four important layers of the tooth:
- Enamel: The enamel is the white layer that encases the teeth. It’s the first line of protection against bacteria, but is also the thinnest layer of the tooth.
- Dentin: The dentin layer is the thickest layer and is made of a mineralized substance. Once the decay has broken through this layer, it can cause soreness and pain.
- Pulp: The pulp is the sensitive center of the tooth, with nerves and blood vessels resting inside. If the decay reaches this layer, it can be extremely painful and lead the tooth closer to death.
- Cementum: The cementum is a layer on the outside of the tooth, and attaches the tooth to the jawbone. If damaged by tooth decay, it’s possible that this tissue can loosen and the tooth will fall out.
How Does Tooth Decay Occur?
There’s a common misconception that tooth decay is solely caused by sugar, but that’s not quite true. Sugar is only part of the equation, but the reality is that it’s a combination of sugar, carbohydrates, and bacteria that leads to tooth decay.
When you eat, there are food particles leftover that can become stuck between your teeth or on top of your teeth. If you do not brush your teeth after a meal, the bacteria that reside in your mouth consume these food particles. As they eat, they dispense acid waste in the form of plaque (which can build up into tartar). Plaque is a sticky substance that adheres to the surface of the tooth, and can be difficult to clean off at home. However, its acidic properties means that it can slowly eat away at the layers of your tooth (as mentioned above). This is how tooth decay occurs, and can worsen into tooth loss.
How Dental Implants Can Help
Prior to receiving dental implants, Dr. Ang will treat your tooth decay in order to clean up the area. Once ready, dental implants can actually help that jawbone area to heal. How? Through a process called osseointegration.
The titanium material of dental implants triggers the bone around it to regenerate. Therefore, installing dental implants into the damaged area can actually benefit your oral health. The area that was once ravaged by decay can now be restored, to rejuvenate your smile for the future.
Ask Dr. Ang about how you can qualify for dental implants by scheduling a consultation with us today. Don’t let tooth decay ruin your smile for good; contact us today.