What Is Tooth Decay?
When sugars and acids eat away at your protective enamel over time, they gradually attack your teeth and cause tooth decay. When left untreated, the cavities that form can grow into a worse dental abscess.
Symptoms of tooth decay or a tooth abscess include:
- Bad breath
- Dark spots on teeth
For those with a high-sugar or high-carb diet, you may be at higher risk for developing tooth decay. Additionally, younger children are more at risk for tooth decay than adults are.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Fortunately, preventing tooth decay is easy! Regular visits to the dentist for exams and cleanings, as well as good at-home hygiene habits like brushing and flossing, are your best defense against the development of cavities.
Consider these simple steps:
- Eat healthy foods that are lower in sugars
- Brush and floss at least twice a day
- Schedule routine exams and cleanings
- Fluoride treatments if you don’t think you get enough natural fluoride
- Consider the application of dental sealants
Treatment of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is common, which means it’s also commonly treated. This may include:
- Filling: Once the decay is removed, the cavity can be filled with a dental filling to prevent further spread. When cavities are caught on time, this is often the most common treatment!
- Crown: If decay is severe, a crown may be used to protect the entire tooth from further harm.
- Root canal: When an infection has reached the pulp of the tooth, a root canal is necessary. This treatment isn’t as scary as it sounds, and is completely routine!
- Extraction: Only necessary when all other options have been exhausted, extraction may be recommended for overtly severe cases of decay that could affect your oral or overall health.
Call 508.888.4400 to find out more about tooth decay and prevention or to schedule your routine exam with our Sandwich, MA dental office today.