Parker M Jarvis DDS
General Dentist
555 West Schrock Road Suite 120 = Westerville = OH 43081 = (614) 882-5208

Tooth Damage and Decay 

Three things play a role in decay of teeth: the existence of plaque, a susceptible tooth and food that contains starches or sugars.

Plaque: What role does it play in tooth decay?
Dental plaque is made up of millions and millions of tiny clusters of bacteria. It is the bacteria in the plaque that interacts with the starches and sugars - fermentable carbohydrates - of food. When the bacteria breakdown the sugars and starches, an acid is formed.

The fact that the plaque is sticky enables the acid to adhere to the tooth enamel. Then the acid can attack the tooth's surface, the enamel. The longer that the acid stays in contact with the surface of the tooth, the greater the chance of decay developing.

It is the repeated exposure to the acid that causes decalcification (or breaks down) the protective, strong enamel shell of the tooth. Dentists recommend that you limit the duration of the exposure of sugary foods and drinks. If you drink something such as pop, for example, it is better to drink the entire thing, than to sip small amounts throughout the day. When the mouth is continually exposed to the acids, the decay then is able to penetrate the enamel, and reaches the next layer of the tooth, the dentin causing tooth sensitivity - most often the earliest sign of a deep dental cavity.

Because dentin is softer than enamel, the infection can spread quickly throughout interior of the tooth. If the infection or decay is not stopped at this point, the next area to be attacked is the pulp cavity where the nerves of the tooth are located. When decay is at this stage the patient will usually experience severe dental pain, a toothache. If a toothache gets ignored, the result can be a severe infection and the loss of the tooth.

There are many choices of sugar free foods to choose from these days. Poor choices are pop with sugar, sugared gum, hard candies, etc.

Routine dental examinations are the easiest way to allow your dentist to examine the areas of your child's mouth that are susceptible to dental decay. A patient who knows that a cavity is in the process of developing may be able to stop it from forming. Some of the preventive measures available today are: oral hygiene (cleanings), professional fluoride treatments to strengthen teeth, the use of fluoride rinses and the elimination of sugary foods and beverages from the diet. When these measures are taken, a tooth may be able to remineralize where the natural minerals in the saliva help restore the hard enamel to its original, strong, protective condition.


Tooth Damage And Decay
In Westerville Ohio and the surrounding
Columbus - New Albany - Gahanna - Worthington OH areas.

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Terms of Use

Dr. Jarvis is licensed to perform all listed services as a general dentist. This provider is not a specialist in family, crowns,
gum disease, sedation, prosthodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, cosmetic, whitening, implants and non-specialty interest
areas that require no specific educational training to advertise this service.