If a tooth’s pulp, the innermost layer, becomes infected it is in grave danger. Without proper prevention or early treatment, the tooth can die and fall out. So how does a tooth reach this ruinous point? In this blog post, we will examine bacteria’s journey to infection of the pulp. Bacteria Packs its Bags, Forms Plaque As we all know, certain bacteria found in the mouth can cause serious problems. These harmful residents are gluttons for the lingering sugar in your mouth and produce an acid byproduct that strips enamel and weakens teeth. Bacteria Makes Friends With Common Goals: Tooth Decay Bacteria then groups together to form plaque (a clear, sticky film) and tartar (hardened plaque) which will adhere to teeth in the absence of proper hygiene habits. Beyond their sticking power, these substances allow bacteria to dwell in one area so all the damage they do is very concentrated. Accordingly, tooth decay in these areas can occur rapidly, causing a cavity. Post-Cavity Voyage When a cavity develops, the best treatment is to visit us to place a dental filling as soon as possible. If the cavity is left unattended to, decay continues. These bacteria burrow even deeper into the tooth until they access the tooth’s pulp. At this point the bacteria causes an infection with the power to kill the tooth. This infection can even spread into the jaw, mouth and rest of the body. Bacteria Meets Its Final Destiny in Our Office Thankfully, this infection spread can be halted with preventative hygiene habits and treatment of any dental cavities. If you suspect you have bacteria embarking on the journey described above, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. As with all ailments, early diagnosis is your best course of action.