Tooth decay can happen to anyone at any age. It is the destruction of your tooth enamel. This is the hard, outer layer of your teeth. The reason it’s so common is that plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) constantly forms on your teeth.
When you eat or drink foods that contain sugar, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack your tooth enamel.
The plaque’s stickiness keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time they break down your tooth enamel. When this happens, your teeth begin to decay, and cavities start to form.
How Decay Weakens Your Teeth
Although cavities are more common with children, the changes that occur as you grow older also make cavities problematic for adults too. Adults are faced with receding gum lines – gums moving away from their teeth. They’re also more prone to experience gum disease. Together, these things can expose your teeth’s roots to plaque.
Your teeth’s roots are covered with cementum, which is softer than your enamel. This not only makes them more sensitive to touch and temperature, but it also makes them more susceptible to decay. People over the age of 50 usually have tooth-root decay for this reason.
When this happens their teeth typically grow much weaker. This makes their teeth more likely to chip and break. Unfortunately, this can go unrecognized because older adults typically don’t have as much feeling in their mouth.
Healthy teeth take work, but rest assured we’re here to help you with this. Since your smile gets a lot of attention, it’s important for you to have routine dental checkups with us. We can spot any issues you may be facing and act to stop them before they destroy all of your teeth so make sure you make an appointment for a routine dental checkup with our office today.