As reported by the National Center for Health Statistics and the CDC in 2017, 31.6% of adults aged 20-44 have untreated dental caries, while over half of adults ages 18-64 visited a dentist in a year’s time. Perhaps more sobering is that approximately 90% of Americans between the ages of 20-64 have some form of tooth decay. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that some refer to dental decay and cavities as a silent epidemic. Medline Plus supports this claim, as tooth decay is extremely common, second only to the common cold.
Most people understand that bacteria are normally found in the mouth. When individuals eat a diet high in sugars and starches, bacteria morph them into acidic substances that wreak havoc on teeth and gums. The combination of bacteria, saliva, acid and food particles form a sticky substance called plaque. Though good oral care and dental checkups can remove plaque from the surfaces of teeth, inconsistencies in dental care mean that plaque will likely turn to tartar. As a hardened form of plaque, tartar cannot be removed without a professional cleaning. Therefore, without going to a dentist, the tartar (and excess plaque) irritates gums, which leads to inflammation and bleeding.
Consequently, acids that attack the surfaces of teeth will produce tiny holes called cavities. These small infections do not cause pain in the beginning. Yet, as cavities grow in size, a tooth could develop an abscess or fracture. Meanwhile, untreated decay inside the tooth destroys the pulp, which could lead to significant pain and the need for extensive dental treatment.
Welcome To Grateful Dental
At Grateful Dental, our team realizes that many individuals are living with untreated cavities, placing them at risk for more serious oral health problems. If you’ve been told that you have a cavity, or if you are experiencing symptoms of tooth decay, contact Grateful Dental. We’ll make every effort to make your visit enjoyable and comfortable.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Leia Porcaro
Marietta, GA 30067