Rotten teeth are the result of the demineralization of tooth enamel by the acid-producing bacteria that normally grow the human mouth. The erosive power of this chemical process is why cavities and rotting teeth appear discolored and off times translucent. In so-called “best case” scenarios, the acid responsible for rotting teeth will create a small dental cavity. In worst-case scenarios, the acid will eat through the enamel and dentin into the pulp of the tooth producing first a toothache and then a dead tooth.
The acid damage that leads to rotten teeth is initially undetectable to anyone other than a dentist reviewing dental X-rays. However, once the decay has eaten through the enamel, rotting teeth generally become sensitive to sweet foods, extreme temperatures and pressure. By the time tooth decay is clearly visible to the naked eye, serious and potentially irreversible harm has taken place.
Preventing rotten teeth takes a little common sense and a lot of dedication. The key to avoiding rotting teeth is reducing the amount of cavity-causing bacteria and dental plaque in your mouth. This requires a real commitment to good oral hygiene. By following a regular dental care regime, you’ll help minimize the risk of developing a rotting tooth or two. This requires: Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day, using tartar-control toothpaste with fluoride, flossing daily, rinsing with fluoride mouthwash, cutting back on starchy and sugary foods, and regular dental cleanings by a dental hygienist.