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carrollton/Frisco: (972) 242-7603 / FLOWER MOUND: (972) 434-8050 / Denton: (940) 566-7021

What is Tooth Decay?

Diagram of a tooth with tooth decay used by Flower Mound periodontist at ROOT™ Periodontal and Implant Center.Tooth decay occurs when your tooth enamel softens. This happens when acids produced by plaque and bacteria linger on the surfaces of your teeth. These acids erode the tooth enamel, causing this protective layer to lose essential minerals. When tooth decay is not addressed right away, it can turn into a small pit, or cavity, in your tooth. Cavities grow larger and deeper over time, compromising the structural integrity of your tooth and putting it at risk for developing a painful infection. If tooth decay has developed in your teeth, ROOT™ Periodontal and Implant Center can help.

What are the Causes of Tooth Decay?

There are some different issues that can lead to tooth decay. Some of the most common include
•  Poor oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and routine dental visits are essential for reducing plaque and bacteria buildup in your mouth. Any laxity in these habits can increase your risk.
•  Tobacco use. Tobacco products make plaque stickier, making it easier for bacteria to adhere to your teeth.
•  A poor diet. A diet high in sugars and carbohydrates, which break down into sugars, provide a significant food source for oral bacteria, which eat the sugars and produce harmful acids.
•  Dry mouth. Dry mouth has many causes. When your mouth is dry, it has insufficient saliva, which turns your mouth into a bacteria breeding ground.

What are the Symptoms of Decay and Cavities?

When decay first begins, the soft areas of enamel often appear as white spots on your teeth. As decay continues to worsen, you may start to develop symptoms of a cavity. These symptoms include
•  Pain in the tooth.
•  Sensitivity, particularly when eating spicy foods or foods that are too hot or cold.
•  You notice the formation of a pit on your tooth.

Treating Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can be reversed. This can be done with an improved oral hygiene routine, fluoridated oral care products, and fluoride treatments. If your decay has developed into a cavity, this cannot be reversed. It can, however, be treated. The type of treatment you receive, however, will depend upon the severity of the cavity. Treatments include
•  Fillings. Fillings are the most common treatment for cavities. They are done using amalgam or composite resin material.
•  Inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays are indirect fillings or ones that are created in a lab and bonded into the cavity. They are typically used for treating cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars.
•  Crowns. If you have a more significant amount of decay, a filling may compromise the tooth further. In cases such as these, a crown may be recommended.
•  Root canal therapy. If an infection develops inside of the tooth, a root canal is needed. A crown is placed after the root canal is completed.

How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay?

There are plenty of things that you can do to prevent the development of tooth decay in the first place. We can provide you with a few tips to help.
•  A good oral hygiene routine at home. You should brush at least twice a day and floss once a day.
•  Professional dental care. You should have your mouth cleaned and examined twice a year.
•  Use fluoridated oral care products.
•  Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Limit your sugar and carbohydrate consumption and drink plenty of water.

When decay develops, treatment is needed right away to restore the strength of your affected teeth and prevent the development of cavities. Call ROOT™ Periodontal and Implant Center at Carrollton: (972) 242-7603 or Flower Mound: (972) 434-8050 or Denton: (940) 566-7021 today to learn more.
2440 N. Josey Lane,
Suite 202
Carrollton, TX 75006

ph: (972) 242-7603
fax: (972) 242-0925

Flower Mound
651 Cross Timbers Road,
Suite 102
Flower Mound, TX 75028

ph: (972) 434-8050
fax: (972) 434-2043

1601 N. Elm,
Suite B,
Denton, TX 76201

ph: (940) 566-7021
fax: (940) 383-8319
6340 Preston Road,
Suite 100,
Frisco, TX 75034

ph: (972) 242-7603
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