Tooth decay occurs when the tooth’s enamel is damaged, and this damage often leads to cavities and other dental health issues like periodontal disease. Damage to the tooth’s surface exposes it to further decay, which at times can completely penetrate the tooth. Additionally, once one tooth begins to decay, the bacteria can spread to additional teeth. For these reasons, it’s important to receive regular dental care. A dental professional can help individuals prevent and correct tooth decay so that a small to moderate problem does not become serious.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film that’s full of harmful bacteria. This bacterial film attaches to a person’s teeth and uses sugars and starches from food to create acids that eat away the tooth’s enamel.
As time passes, plaque hardens into tartar, making it much more difficult to brush away. Plaque and tartar cause teeth to decay and can also cause gum disease when they reach the gum line.
How bad is tooth decay?
The severity of tooth decay depends on individual circumstances. A small cavity can usually be repaired quite easily at a dentist’s office, but tooth decay that has been allowed to spread can destroy the integrity of a person’s teeth, causing them to crack, break, or even fall out.
Additionally, extensive tooth decay and/or gum disease can lead to more serious health issues, like dementia, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, pregnancy issues, respiratory infections, and even certain cancers.
If you notice pain or sensitivity in your teeth, or you have brown or white staining on your teeth, it’s crucial that you have your mouth evaluated by a dental professional.
Treatment for Tooth Decay
If you live in or around the Fairbanks, AK area, Golden Heart Dental offers an array of treatment options depending on the severity of your condition.
Dr. Shawn Miller might utilize simple composite fillings to repair small cavities, while more serious tooth decay may require root canals or extractions, followed by tooth replacement.
If a patient’s tooth decay has spread beyond the gum line and gum disease is present, treatment for periodontal disease might be necessary.
The best way to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and periodontal disease is to ensure that you’re taking adequate care of your teeth, which includes regular examinations and cleaning services.
Visit Golden Heart Dental at least twice a year for regular dental checkups and maintenance. This way, you can prevent serious health issues from affecting your teeth, gums, and holistic health.
At Golden Heart Dental, we make it convenient to plan your visit. Schedule online or call us at 907-328-0868 to request an appointment time that fits your busy schedule. We can't wait to see you.