Ridgway Clinic in Wimbledon
Tooth decay is a common problem that occurs when acids in your mouth dissolve the outer layers of your teeth. It is also known as dental decay or dental caries.
Toothache is a warning that something is wrong and that you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. If you ignore the problem it may get worse, and you could end up losing a tooth.
Dentists can usually identify tooth decay by examining your teeth, although occasionally an X-ray may be carried out to check for any cavities or abscesses.
Your mouth is full of bacteria that combine with small food particles and saliva to form a sticky film known as plaque. When you consume sugary foods and drinks – the bacteria in plaque produce acid. If the plaque is allowed to build up, the acid can begin to break down the outer surface of your tooth and can eventually cause a hole.
The best way to avoid tooth decay is to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
If you see your dentist when the decay is in the early stages, your dentist may apply a fluoride varnish to the area to help stop further decay. If the decay has worn away the outer layer of your tooth and caused a cavity, your dentist will remove the decay and place a fill .