The outer layer of your teeth is called the enamel, and it is very strong. However, it can still be damaged if good oral hygiene is not kept. Tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth enamel. Though it is more common in children, it can also be a problem for teens and adults. Prime Dental can assist with preventing tooth decay and treating it if it should occur to you or your family.
Plaque is a sticky film that constantly forms on the teeth. It contains bacteria that feed off of the sugars from the foods and drinks that you consume and produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. Brushing and flossing do a good job of cleaning plaque away from the teeth, but if it is kept in contact with your teeth for long periods of time, cavities can form.
Cavities are small holes that form in the teeth as the result of poor oral hygiene. They are more common among children, but can also be an adult problem as the result of changes that occur with aging – gum recession, combined with an increased incidence of gum disease, can cause the tooth roots to become exposed to plaque. They are also susceptible to tooth decay and additionally are more sensitive to touch and extreme temperatures. Left untreated, cavities can cause an abscess to form in the gums and even eventually require the tooth to be extracted. Prompt treatment with a dental filling can avoid these situations.
Fortunately, tooth decay is fairly easily preventable. It is important to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Limit snacking and maintain a nutritious and balanced diet. Visit your dentist at Prime Dental twice a year for a dental cleaning and exam. During an appointment, you can also ask about the use of supplemental fluoride (a mineral that strengthens the tooth enamel); it can be applied directly to the tooth surfaces. Dental sealants, a plastic protective coating, can also be applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth, which are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay.
Your dentist at Prime Dental is available to help you maintain your oral health.