Saturday, 6 April 2013

How does plaque cause a cavity?


The hard, outside covering of your teeth is called enamel. Enamel is very hard, mainly because it contains durable mineral salts, like calcium. Mineral salts in your saliva help add to the hardness of your teeth. Mineral salts, however, are prone to attack by acids. Acid causes them to break down.

For an experiment about the power of acid, check out the Healthy Teeth Dental Experiments page!

The plaque that forms on your teeth and doesn't get washed away by saliva or brushed away by your toothbrush produces acid as it eats up sugar. This acid is produced inside the plaque and can't be easily washed away by your saliva. The acid dissolves the minerals that make your tooth enamel hard. The surface of the enamel becomes porous - tiny holes appear. After a while, the acid causes the tiny holes in the enamel to get bigger until one large hole appears. This is a cavity.

It's important to see your dentist before a cavity forms so that the plaque you can't reach with your toothbrush or floss can be removed.

Above article written by: HealthyTeeth.org

Dentist Tinley Park
North Creek Dental Care
 Tom Ryan, DDS • John W. Athos, DDS • Kate Goesel, DDS
18425 West Creek Drive • Suite I
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 532-4131

Thursday, 4 April 2013

What causes a cavity?


Your mouth is a busy place. Bacteria - tiny colonies of living organisms are constantly on the move on your teeth, gums, lips and tongue.

Having bacteria in your mouth is a normal thing. While some of the bacteria can be harmful, most are not and some are even helpful.

Certain types of bacteria, however, can attach themselves to hard surfaces like the enamel that covers your teeth. If they're not removed, they multiply and grow in number until a colony forms. More bacteria of different types attach to the colony already growing on the tooth enamel. Proteins that are present in your saliva (spit) also mix in and the bacteria colony becomes a whitish film on the tooth. This film is called plaque, and it's what causes cavities.

Above article written by: HealthyTeeth.org

Dentist Tinley Park
North Creek Dental Care
 Tom Ryan, DDS • John W. Athos, DDS • Kate Goesel, DDS
18425 West Creek Drive • Suite I
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 532-4131

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The Parts of a Tooth


A tooth is basically made up of two parts: the crown and the root.

The crown is what you see when you smile or open your mouth. It's the part that sits above your gumline.

The root is below the gumline. It makes up about 2/3rds of the tooth's total length.

Four different tissues make up each tooth. The enamel is the durable, white covering. Enamel protects the tooth from the wear and tear of chewing.

Dental Fact: did you know that the enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body?

Dentin supports the enamel on your teeth. It's a yellow bone-like material that's softer than enamel and carries some of the nerve fibres that tell you when something is going wrong inside your tooth.

The Pulp is the centre of the tooth. It's a soft tissue that contains blood and lymph vessels, and nerves. The pulp is how the tooth receives nourishment and transmits signals to your brain.

Cementum is what covers most of the root of the tooth. It helps to attach the tooth to the bones in your jaw. A cushioning layer called the Periodontal Ligament sits between the cementum and the jawbone. It helps to connect the two.

Above article written by: HealthyTeeth.org

Dentist Tinley Park
North Creek Dental Care
 Tom Ryan, DDS • John W. Athos, DDS • Kate Goesel, DDS
18425 West Creek Drive • Suite I
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 532-4131