Understanding Tooth Decay

Maintaining a radiant smile involves more than just regular brushing and flossing. Tooth decay, a common dental issue, is a serious concern that can significantly impact oral health and overall well-being. 

In this informative blog, Flatiron Family Dental, specializing in minimally invasive dentistry, explores the causes, prevention strategies, and effective treatments for tooth decay. With this knowledge, you can take proactive steps to ensure your teeth remain strong and healthy.

What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the protective layer of enamel on your teeth. This erosion creates small openings or holes that, if not addressed, can lead to further damage, pain, and even tooth loss. The good news is that with the right knowledge, you can proactively protect your smile from these concerns.

Causes of Tooth Decay

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing allow plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, to build up on your teeth, leading to decay.
  • Sugar and Carbohydrate Consumption: Bacteria thrive on sugars and carbohydrates from foods and beverages, producing acids that eat away at the enamel.
  • Dry Mouth: Saliva helps neutralize acids and remineralize teeth. A dry mouth creates an environment conducive to decay.

Preventing Tooth Decay

  • Regular Oral Care Routine: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles.
  • Balanced Diet: Limit sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods and drinks. Opt for fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and dairy products to strengthen teeth.
  • Fluoride: Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Fluoride helps remineralize enamel and makes it more resistant to acids.
  • Drink Water: Water helps cleanse the mouth and maintain saliva production, preventing dry mouth and acid buildup.
  • Dental Visits: Schedule regular check-ups at Flatiron Family Dental. Professional cleanings and exams can catch decay early and prevent its progression.

Treatment Options for Tooth Decay

  • Fillings: If caught early, a dentist can remove any decayed material and fill the cavity with composite resin, porcelain, or amalgam.
  • Prescription Toothpaste: Special kinds of toothpaste can help remineralize small lesions in order to avoid the need for a filling.
  • Inlay/Onlay/Porcelain Restorations: Severe decay may require an inlay or onlay to restore strength and appearance to the tooth.
  • Root Canal Therapy: When decay reaches the tooth’s inner pulp, a root canal can save the tooth by removing the infected tissue.
  • Extraction: In advanced cases where decay has severely compromised the tooth’s structure, extraction may be necessary.

By understanding tooth decay’s causes, implementing preventive measures, and seeking timely treatment, you can maintain a brilliant smile for years to come! 

Ready to schedule a dental check-up? Contact Flatiron Family Dental in Manhattan, NY, today!

Take the first step towards a healthier smile and overall well-being by scheduling an appointment with Flatiron Family Dental, where we prioritize minimally invasive dentistry for optimal oral health! Our experienced team of dental professionals at our full-service dental office, located in Manhattan, NY, is dedicated to providing exceptional care to each and every one of our patients.

Give us a call today at 212-510-7303 or visit our website to get in touch.