A Germ’s Journey Inside your Mouth

Cavities are explained in different ways to teach children and adults how to avoid them. Many people simplify the story by saying that if you avoid sugar and brush your teeth, you can avoid tooth decay. Like any matter inside your complex body, however, there is more to rotting teeth than just eating too much sugar and skipping out on your preventive dental care. The whole process begins with germs – Streptococcus mutans, to be exact. Join Dr. Brad Greenfield of  Lake Orion Family Dentistry on this particular germ’s journey towards creating tooth decay.

Sugar Bugs

Streptococcus mutans are quite commonly found in the human mouth, though we aren’t born with the germs. S. mutans are able to grow best in temperatures between 18 and 40 degrees Celsius. The temperature of a “normal” mouth averages at 37 degrees Celsius, making your oral cavity the perfect home for these crafty bacteria. Streptococcus mutans have something in common with you:  they break down sugar in order to have the energy to live their lives. The by-product of their sugary diet is acid. A deluge of lactic acid on your teeth will demineralizes tooth enamel, which is supposed to serve as the protective outer layer of your smile. When S. mutans aren’t stopped from all of these procedures, they will eventually work their way into infecting your dentin, which is better known as a cavity.

Dealing with Cavities

The importance of biannual checkups may seem clearer to you now that you realize there is a constant battle going on inside your mouth between healthy teeth and bacteria. Small cavities can’t always be prevented by your oral hygiene, which is why visiting Dr. Greenfield every six months is so essential. When our dental team is able to examine your mouth that often, we can catch the tiniest cavities and fill them fast. This means the germs won’t have a chance to infiltrate your dental pulp and infect your roots. The best way to cut a germ’s travel plans short is to provide the one-two punch of daily oral hygiene and biannual dental checkups.

Visit your Lake Orion Dentist

You can visit Dr. Greenfield’s office in Lake Orion at 248-693-6213 to schedule a dental crown appointment or cosmetic consultation. We offer comprehensive dentistry services to patients in Lake Orion and surrounding communities.