Receiving family dental care with your dentist near Walnut Creek helps prevent cavities
We have all heard of cavities, and many of us have experienced them first-hand. While we may know that a cavity is something ideally avoided, we may not fully understand what cavities are, and, even more importantly, what causes them. With better understanding of what can cause cavities, you and your family
are better equipped to prevent them. Both at home and professional dental care
from your dentist near Walnut Creek
are needed for the prevention of cavities.
What is a cavity?
Cavities are areas of tooth decay, where the structure of the tooth has been damaged. A cavity may develop on any area of the tooth, and affect all parts, including the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp.
Cavity-causers, the usual suspects
The common suspect people associate with cavities is sugar. This is, however, only a partial truth. Sugar is only the fuel that feeds cavity-causing bacteria. Bacteria, both good and bad, live in our mouths naturally. When sugar is left in the mouth, bacteria have ample food source. After consuming sugar, bacteria excrete acidic waste that is toxic to teeth and gums. Acid that remains on teeth will eat away enamel, forming a cavity. One way to decrease the risk of cavities is to brush teeth adequately at least twice a day, if not after every meal. Flossing is also necessary to remove bacteria from between teeth.
Early detection is ideal
Routine dental check-ups are scheduled at six-month intervals for a reason. Between visits, regular oral hygiene performed at home should be sufficient for the destruction of harmful bacteria. Should any problems develop, they can be detected early, because only six months has gone by since the last examination. Dr. Alkhoury looks at each tooth, and he will take x-ray images of teeth as needed.
Detecting cavities early is vitally important, as the damage that comes from bacterial activity is progressive. When we find cavities while they are still small, we are better able to treat them conservatively, preserving a good deal of natural tooth structure. The more natural tooth structure we can preserve, the stronger the tooth will remain in the long-term. Small cavities affect only the hard outer layer of enamel. Filling such small cavities is often so easy that no drilling or anesthetic is needed!
Undetected cavities, or those that are left untreated, will progressively grow larger, invading the inner areas of the tooth. Clearly, this progression creates larger problems, such as infection and the need for root canal therapy.
We want you to experience your most attractive, most healthy smile. Contact us to schedule your dental check-up with Dr. Alkhoury.
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