Tooth decay is a common dental health concern affecting patients of all ages.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria feed off of built-up plaque and tartar. The multiplying bacteria leave behind an acidic byproduct that causes erosion in the surface of the tooth enamel. Bacteria are then able to enter the compromised tooth and can cause structural damage. As decay spreads it may enter the pulp of the tooth and require more advanced treatment.
Tooth decay is most commonly treated using a dental filling. Dental fillings are a routine procedure that restores the health and stability to the decaying tooth. Root canals, inlay and onlays and tooth extractions may also be considered depending on the advancement of the decay.
Palmetto Smiles offers patients of all ages thorough oral health exams and dental cavity screenings. We work with patients to improve their oral hygiene in efforts to reduce their risk of tooth decay. Our preventative oral health care and patient education help patients maintain their more natural, healthy smiles.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is usually preventable. Good oral hygiene and routine dental health exams are the best options for preventing decay. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day removes debris and helps to minimize the build-up of plaque and tartar. Routine dental health exams and regular teeth cleanings can remove build up in hard to reach areas and allows for earlier diagnosis of any potential issues.
Your diet can also play an important role in preventing tooth decay. Eating a diet low in sugar helps reduce your risk of tooth decay. Eating foods high in fiber and brushing after eating help keep your teeth clean and healthy. Be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth and to activate your saliva glands.