Affecting millions nationwide, tooth decay is a leading cause of tooth loss in patients of all ages. A largely preventable disease, tooth cavities remain a prevalent oral health concern. Biannual dental check-ups and diligent at home oral hygiene are the best defense against tooth decay and early diagnosis is the best route to conservative and effective treatment. Left untreated, tooth decay will progress and more advanced treatment may be required to restore your dental health.
The Science Behind Tooth Decay
Tooth decay develops when there is an excessive build-up of plaque on the tooth. Often times this occurs due to poor oral hygiene. Some patients may experience decay in areas that are hard to clean such as crooked teeth or in the back molars. Food and other particles get lodged between the teeth. This sugar and starch activates the build up of harmful bacteria in the mouth and on tooth surfaces. This chemical reaction forms an acid that will begin to break down the tooth enamel. The tooth enamel starts to erode the structure and integrity of the tooth. The tooth is now susceptible to sensitivity, root canal infection, or even tooth loss.
Treating Tooth Decay
The reality is, most patients will experience some degree of tooth decay in their lives. There are several effective treatment options for eliminating tooth decay and restoring the integrity of the tooth. Your treatment will depend on the progression of decay. In most cases, your Union Square dentist will do everything they can to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible for the benefit of your long-term oral health. If tooth extraction is necessary, our team offers dental implant services to replace the missing tooth and to secure the stability of the bite.
Treatments for Tooth Decay
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
The best way to prevent the development of tooth decay is daily oral hygiene and routine dental care in our San Francisco dentist office. Brushing for two minutes a day, twice a day is essential for keeping oral bacteria in check. Our dentists also highly encourage patients to floss at least once a day. This helps to remove the plaque build up from in between the teeth and along the gum line, where the toothbrush simply can not contact effectively.
Twice yearly routine visits and dental cleanings are also helpful in keeping the teeth clean and free of plaque and tartar build up. Professional dental cleanings thoroughly clean the teeth and gums and can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. If cavities are present, these preventative dental visits can catch decay in the earliest stages of development for conservative dental treatment.
To schedule your next dental exam, or to restore your oral health, contact our Financial District dentist office in San Francisco, CA or request an appointment online.