A lot of people tend to overestimate the state of their dental health because of the natural hardness of their teeth. Teeth are made of a calcium-based mineral called hydroxylapatite, which is very hard but paradoxically brittle. Since hydroxylapatite can be broken down by acids, a Concord NC dentist—such as Dr. Clifford C. Compton III DDS— advises patients to keep their teeth clean to ensure continued viability.
Strong teeth are also more resistant to infections. Food particles, bacteria, and their acids cannot penetrate the teeth if the enamel, which is the hard topmost white layer of the teeth, has fewer microscopic pores. This can be achieved by using dentifrices (toothpastes and mouthwashes) infused with bacteria-fighting fluoride.
Fluoride is a reduced form of fluorine, and it is the term for compounds that contain the latter. Fluorapatite is a notable fluoride compound that has an important role in making teeth stronger. When fluoride is applied to the teeth, the hydroxylapatite reacts with it to form fluorapatite, which is a harder mineral.
Brushing can also prevent plaque and calculus from accumulating on the teeth and gums. Plaque is the yellow aggregate you may scrape off the surface of your teeth within a few hours of brushing. This is caused by oral bacteria that are generally harmless, but as a dentist Concord residents visit warns, excrete acids that can cause the teeth and gums to deteriorate.
Calculus is commonly known as tartar. It is similar to plaque, only harder. It is actually crystals of calcium phosphate, which are by-products of the teeth. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to remove. While proper brushing and flossing can prevent calculus from forming, there are areas in the mouth that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush or floss. Dentists can rid these sections of calculus with special procedures and tools.
When plaque and calculus are left on the teeth and gums too long, the bacteria that naturally dwell in the mouth can release enough acids to break down the soft tissues of the gums. Periodontal diseases include gingivitis, a condition that can make eating painful. The progression of periodontal diseases can also cause bacterial acids to penetrate the enamel, which is even more of an ordeal.
Dental caries is more commonly known as tooth decay. Thankfully, the dentist Concord NC residents visit can perform a root canal or an extraction to treat tooth decay. You will be glad to know that these procedures are actually not as painful as they are often made out to be. However, prevention is still miles better than a slightly uncomfortable cure, so you should visit your dentist regularly and practice proper oral hygiene.