It’s in your best interest to take care of your teeth as best as you can. Expensive dental procedures can set you back a lot of money, which can be even more costly if you don’t have private health insurance. Think of it this way; cavities are the product of tooth decay, which is a process that occurs over a long period. Let’s go through how tooth decay forms, develops and eventually causes aggravated tooth pain.
Formation of plaque
Plaque is the stuff that coats your teeth. The more sugar and starch you eat, the thicker the layer of plaque will be on your teeth. If you’re not cleaning your teeth well, then residue plaque will remain on your teeth. When it’s not removed promptly, you can expect bacteria to form and grow quickly, feeding on the plaque left on your teeth. Plaque that hardens on your teeth is known as calculus, making it even more challenging to remove. Therefore, it is vital that you see a dentist often.
The build-up in plaque releases several minerals, which can begin to erode the outer enamel of your tooth. This leads to the formation of microscopic holes in the enamel, which is the first step in cavities forming. The enamel is usually eroded, exposing the second layer, called dentin. The layer of dentin is weaker and softer, meaning it is more vulnerable to acid. In fact, the dentin is connected to the nerve of the tooth, which causes sensitivity.
So, as the decay worsens, the bacteria will continue to eat away at your teeth. They’ll erode through the enamel and dentin, before reaching the inner tooth material, which is known as the pulp. If the pulp is infected, it will begin to swell and expand within the tooth. This presses against the nerve, causing the pain you feel.