Never Ignore a Cavity

Did you know that the average American adult has had three or more cavities in their lifetime? According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), dental caries (cavities) is the most common chronic disease in both children and adults, affecting 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 and 78% of children aged 2 to 19. How much do you know about a cavity? Do you know the importance of detecting tooth decay, treating it and preventing it?

At Grateful Dental, we have a comprehensive menu of dental services that aim to keep your smile healthy through all stages of life. In doing so, we offer treatments to help prevent cavities as well as treatments that can restore a tooth if decay has already set in.

What is Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a common dental problem that occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acid that gradually erodes the enamel on the teeth. This can lead to the formation of cavities or holes in the teeth, which can cause pain, sensitivity, and other dental problems if left untreated.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is typically caused by poor oral hygiene habits, such as inadequate brushing and flossing, as well as a diet high in sugary or acidic foods and beverages. Other factors that can increase the risk of tooth decay include dry mouth, gum disease, and certain medications.

What Happens When a Cavity Goes Untreated?

When a cavity goes untreated, it can continue to grow and deepen, eventually reaching the innermost layers of the tooth. If the decay reaches the pulp or nerve of the tooth, it can cause significant pain and sensitivity, and may require more extensive treatment such as a root canal to save the tooth.

If the decay is not treated promptly, it can also lead to the formation of a dental abscess, which is a painful infection that can cause swelling, fever, and other symptoms. In severe cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening.

Untreated cavities can also cause other dental problems, such as gum disease, as the bacteria that cause decay can also infect the gums and other tissues in the mouth.

Cavity Detection Comes from a Dentist

While it is imperative that you visit the dentist regularly for teeth cleanings, this is also one of the only ways you can detect a cavity at an early and more treatable stage. Most cavities do not produce noticeable or visible symptoms until they are at their advanced stages. Therefore, this makes routine six-month dental visits even more important. At Grateful Dental, we offer advanced digital imaging technology to identify tooth decay at the earliest possible stage.

How is Tooth Decay Treated?

At Grateful Dental, we treat tooth decay depending on the extent of the decay, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Dental fillings: If the decay is caught early, a dental filling can be used to remove the decayed area of the tooth and fill the cavity with a dental material, such as composite resin or amalgam.
  • Crowns: If the decay is more extensive, a dental crown may be needed to restore the tooth’s shape and function.
  • Root canal: If the decay reaches the pulp or nerve of the tooth, a root canal procedure may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and save the tooth.
  • Extraction: In severe cases where the tooth is extensively decayed and cannot be saved, the tooth may need to be extracted.

How Can Patients Prevent Cavities?

Prevention of tooth decay involves maintaining good oral hygiene habits, such as:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing daily to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth.
  • Limiting sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
  • Visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  • Using fluoride mouthwash to help strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Chewing sugarless gum after meals to help stimulate saliva production and neutralize acid in the mouth.

Schedule Cavity Detection or Repair in Marietta

If you need a trusted Marietta dentist to keep your smile cavity-free, consider Grateful Dental. Not only can we take measures to lessen your risk for tooth decay, but we also have ways to restore a decayed tooth back to optimal health. Our goal is to help patients avoid dental discomfort that could otherwise have been prevented with proper oral care. Most importantly, we never want your untreated or ignored cavity to lead to tooth loss. Call Dr. Porcaro in Marietta today to schedule your appointment.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental

2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE, #1, Marietta, GA 30067

Phone: (678) 593-2979