Dental caries, tooth decay, and cavities are different words that ultimately reference the same phenomenon known as cavities. Tooth decay is an unpleasant experience that can cause pain, occasional discoloration around the base of a tooth, and can lead to a host of other health complications if left untreated. At times, a tooth might experience such an extent of decay or structural damage that it warrants its removal. Fortunately, there are several options available for treating tooth decay. If you are experiencing any form of tooth decay, rest assured that you can have it treated professionally by us here at Randolph Center for Dental Excellence
The Various Types of Tooth Decay
To understand the major types of tooth decay, it is important to understand how tooth decay occurs to begin with. With starches and sugars come the early formations of dental plaque. Plaque is created by bacteria that feed off of these starches and sugars. The acids found in plaque and created by bacteria wear away the mineral composition of teeth, thus decaying the tooth. If it gets to the root, the root becomes infected. This process is best mitigated by brushing and flossing.
Pit and fissure cavities occur on the chewing surfaces of teeth, typically molars. Regular brushing is the best way to ensure these cavities are avoided. Root cavities go hand in hand with the gums, and stem into a tooth’s root. These are best avoided by flossing regularly. Finally, there are smooth surface cavities which occur on the sides of teeth. These are the rarer and slower types of cavities, but are best avoided by brushing, as well as flossing.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Preventing tooth decay is not very difficult, fortunately. Maintaining proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth greatly reduces the likelihood of tooth decay. You should brush twice per day with a soft bristled toothbrush. Flossing is best done before brushing, and goes a long way to protecting those roots. It is really as easy as it sounds, and with preventative care, a little goes a long way.
Treating Tooth Decay
The American Dental Association states that 91 percent of Americans over 20 have experienced cavities and tooth decay at some point in their lives. Thankfully, if there is a cavity present, we are well equipped to handle the task. Whether small or large, no matter the tooth, fillings can repair the damage created by cavities.
Dental exams are particularly important for early cavity detection and treatment. While a routine dental exam occurs only twice a year, they provide us with crucial information about your overall dental health. These exams are typically followed by a deep dental cleaning that removes plaque buildup and applies a protective fluoride finish.
Fillings are a fantastic treatment option for cavities. Despite widespread belief, fillings are not painful and are fairly simple to perform. Tooth decay may occur more often than commonly thought, but is still important to treat promptly as a matter of principle. Cavities and toothaches can be very unpleasant experiences, however, thankfully there are readily available solutions to help keep you happy and healthy.
Whether you have minor tooth decay, or deeper cavities, our team is prepared and ready to help. To learn more about tooth decay and cavities, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team of dental professionals here at Randolph Center for Dental Excellence at today.