Mark W. Mercer, DDS
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TOOTH DECAY & PREVENTION
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What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is the breakdown of the hard tooth structure (enamel, dentin, and cementum) by existing oral bacteria. Not brushing and flossing frequently enough allows the build up of bacteria and food materials in a soft sticky substance known as plaque. The bacteria use the sugars in high sugar foods such as candy, sodas, ice cream, bread and even milk as a food substance. They digest these sugars and produce acidic by products that dissolve hard tooth structures causing a hole or cavity in the tooth.

If the cavity is not treated in a timely manner it could lead to root canals, a crown, abscesses, and even tooth loss.


Preventing Tooth Decay

The best way to prevent tooth decay is with good oral hygiene including flossing and brushing with a fluoride tooth paste two to three times per day. If brushing is not possible after eating rinsing with water or chewing sugarless gum is helpful. The following symptoms may indicate that a cavity is present, sensitivity or pain when eating sweet substances, increased sensitivity to hot or cold, color changes in teeth, and or localized pain.

Girl Flossing Teeth

 


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Mark W. Mercer, DDS
W492 Portage Street
St. Ignace, MI 49781
mark_mercer@att.net
906-643-8414
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