Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Our dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth utilizing a variety of fillings, thus restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Severe decay can damage the nerve of a tooth, which may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it).Preventing unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental exams, and diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene prevents unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are very difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies show that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin normally applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking fluoridated water and brushing and flossing daily ensures significantly lower cavities. Our dentist can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if needed.