A General Dentist Shares 4 Things You May Not Know About Cavities

general dentist Visalia, CA

Tooth decay and gum disease are two oral issues a general dentist often finds themselves confronting. Tooth decay is caused by the outer layer of teeth called enamel being worn down by acids in the mouth, while gum disease is caused by bacteria getting below the gums.

Ask a general dentist and they will tell you cavities can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist.

A general dentist explains how cavities are formed

Cavities are tiny holes that form on teeth surfaces as teeth enamel begins to wear down. A person's risk of cavities can be reduced by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding things that promote tooth decay.

Cavities are easy to treat in their early stages and fillings are the standard solution. Silver amalgam fillings were once the norm, but studies revealing mercury is toxic have changed that. Composite resins are now a popular way to replace missing teeth thanks to benefits like blending in with real teeth and not being toxic.

Here are some interesting things our family dentist wants you to know about cavities:

1. Sugar on its own does not cause tooth decay

While sugar is bad for teeth, it does not directly cause much damage to them. Teeth enamel becomes damaged when there is a combination of bacteria and acid in a person's mouth. The bacteria feed on sugar and excrete acids that eat away at teeth surfaces. Other foods that contain starch like potatoes or rice can also promote tooth decay.

2. Cavities are difficult to detect

Most people with cavities are not even aware they have them. Cavities typically do not come with any symptoms in the early stages and these symptoms often do not appear until a cavity reaches a tooth's nerve.

Regular dental exams help to fight against tooth decay since it gives the dentist a chance to examine a person's teeth. Dentists are a lot more adept at finding cavities and diagnostic tests like x-rays can be very helpful.

3. Discolored teeth do not always have cavities

Teeth turning a greyish color is one of the symptoms of tooth decay, but there are other things that can lead to teeth discoloration like tetracycline antibiotics, foods with strong tannins, or habits like smoking. A trip to the dentist is the best way to know why a tooth has changed its color.

4. Baby teeth with cavities are not a problem

Just as is the case with permanent teeth, a cavity developing on baby teeth could lead to an infection if the tooth is left untreated.  A decayed baby tooth can also lead to problems with the development of a child's permanent teeth. Teaching children good oral hygiene is an effective way to protect their teeth against tooth decay.

We can fix your cavities

Give us a call or drop by our Visalia clinic if you notice one or more cavities on your teeth. Our dentist will educate you about the best treatments for your teeth.

Let's get started…

Request an appointment here: https://www.dentistofvisalia.com or call Visalia Care Dental at (559) 975-1213 for an appointment in our Visalia office.

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