Tooth decay. Dental Caries. Cavities. These are all names for the same dental problem, which is also one of the most common ones we see at our office. If you have received a dental filling before, then you may wonder how the decay grows in your smile.
Your mouth contains hundreds of bacteria which are used to maintain your health. However, some of these bacteria can actually harm teeth. If a sticky, colorless film of bacteria develops on the surface of your teeth, then it is called plaque. The plaque bacteria use the sugars in foods to produce acids which attack the teeth they coat. Though the enamel tissue surrounding your teeth is the hardest substance in the body, it can be harmed by repeated acid attack.
Cavities start out as a white spot on your tooth where the tissue has demineralized. This early stage of tooth decay can still be easily reversed with fluoride. However, if demineralization continues, then a hole can develop in the enamel. If this happens, then our dentist will need to remove the decayed tissues and restore tooth structure with a dental filling. Cavities can cause a lot of harm to your health, but they are easily prevented with oral hygiene, routine dental visits, and a healthy diet.