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What Cavity Formation and Bicycle Manufacturing Have in Common

Posted under Dental Health Tips on June 11th, 2013 | No Comments

I have many patients from a Morgan Hill-based bicycle manufacturing company. I am learning a lot about bicycle design, from industrial design to engineering to marketing, accounting and even human resources. What an awesomely complicated process! A seemingly simple thing like the bicycle manufacturing process, from design to your door (and mine), can take hundreds and even thousands of people. That makes me appreciate how we take simple things in life for granted: a grain of rice, a piece of bread, a leaf on a tree, a school of fish… and how our teeth are formed.

Teeth are formed in three layers: enamel, dentin and pulp chamber. Enamel is hard and strong. It is meant to protect and defend. Dentin is more yellow, soft and full of tubules. When a cavity reaches the inner dentin part, it spreads fast through all these little empty tubules. The junction between enamel and dentin, a.k.a. DEJ, is what we call “the point of no return.” Once a cavity reaches DEJ, it will spread. There is an empty chamber inside each tooth called pulp chamber. It houses nerve endings and blood vessels. When dentists perform a root canal, we literally take out and clean the pulp chamber and fill it with a plastic-like inert material.

Our body is truly amazing; our skin is tough and our bones are strong. They protect what’s fragile inside of us: our heart, brain, intestines, stomach, and many other vital organs.

I hope I put things in perspective and let you know why I am so excited about teeth and biology. Human body is an amazing, intricate design. Your oral cavity is the entry point of the disease. Next time you eat, don’t take your teeth for granted. Take care of your teeth daily. Just like you have your bicycle tuned up professionally, you need to do preventative oral care by seeing us at least twice a year. See you at your next dental visit with us.