The process of tooth decay starts with plaque and bacteria building up on the tooth structure, creating acid.
This acid begins to erode the hard protective coating on the tooth, also known as the enamel.
Once the acid breaks through the outside layer of the enamel, the decay spreads faster due to the softer nature of the underlying layer, called the dentin.
If the decay is allowed to expand through the dentin it can penetrate the interior of the root, requiring additional procedures to remove the infected tissue.
A range of external damage can result from this decay as well, such as cracking or fractures, and can result in losing the tooth entirely.
It is important to detect and address issues of tooth decay early in the process to prevent these consequences. Regular visits to your dentist, good oral hygiene, and a proactive attitude towards your dental health will help minimize this risk.