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Tooth Decay Prevention in Escondido

Mother and son brushing teethTooth decay develops on the surface of a tooth due to repeated exposure to acids produced by plaque bacteria. The acid from the mouth bacteria slowly weaken and dissolve the enamel surface. If allowed to continue, the acid attacks lead to a soft area on the tooth known as tooth decay. Tooth decay continually progresses, becoming deeper over time until the decay reaches the nerve inside the tooth. The nerve becomes infected, causing an abscessed tooth.

When fluoride is applied to the tooth surface before tooth decay develops, it hardens the enamel to make it more resistant to acid-producing bacteria. If fluoride therapy is begun at the earliest stage of the tooth decay process, it is absorbed into the weakened tooth surface to rebuild and strengthen the enamel.

Decreasing Tooth Decay-Causing Bacteria

Regular use of fluoride in both children and adults greatly decreases the population of the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. The harmful bacteria do not survive well in the presence of fluoride.

Decay-causing bacteria in dental plaque produce acid, which in turn dissolves or de-mineralizes the tooth enamel. Fluoride acts to repair or re-mineralize the enamel in the early stage (“white spots”) of the tooth decay process.

Relief of Tooth Sensitivity

Many people report discomfort brought about by exposure of root surfaces to hot, cold, touch, tooth brushing or a combination of these factors. Normally, the root surfaces that are not covered by tooth enamel are below the surface of the gum tissue and are protected. When they become exposed due to tooth brushing abrasion or gum disease, the nerve endings can be sensitive.

Dr. Malone recommends regular application of fluoride in the form of a rinse or a gel which can reduce or eliminate sensitivity caused by receding gums. The fluoride is absorbed into the tooth root surfaces, which are porous. The fluoride seals these sensitive pores and insulates the nerve endings on the surface of the exposed roots. In the case of chronic or severe sensitivity, a custom fluoride appliance can be made that fits over the teeth and sensitive gum surfaces. Fluoride is placed in the appliance in order to direct the fluoride medication to the areas that need attention.

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Tooth Decay Prevention Escondido | (760) 746-2559