Tooth Decay

The Cause

No one enjoys hearing they have a new cavity at their dental exam. A “cavity” is decay of tooth structure. Decay begins when there is an overtake of “bad” bacteria in your mouth. These bad bacteria thrive when you don’t keep up on your oral hygiene and remove them on a regular basis. Dental plaque is a sticky white substance found on tooth surfaces from the build-up of saliva, mucus, food, and bad bacteria. These bad bacteria live in the plaque and use it as a food source to survive. As a byproduct, the bad bacteria produce a strong acid that actually eats away at your tooth’s surface creating a “cavity” or decay.

The Cure

The best cure for tooth decay is to never have it start. Keeping up on your oral hygiene on a regular basis is the tried and true way to accomplish this.

However, even the best of us can end up with a cavity, so how do we get rid of it?  The decayed area of the tooth is removed and is then filled with a tooth colored composite material to restore the tooth back to its normal shape.  The best thing you can do for your teeth if decay is present is to address them as soon as possible.  This keeps the decay to a minimum and allows the dentist to restore the tooth in a very conservative manner.