Tooth decay is the most common dental problem in the United States, with 91% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 having at least mild forms of tooth decay. 27% of adults have untreated tooth decay, leading to more damaging consequences such as infections, gum disease, and tooth loss. Tooth decay is highly preventable with proper oral hygiene, regular dental visits, and fluoride treatments.
While tooth decay is easy to prevent, it can lead to serious medical problems and cosmetic defects. Serious forms of tooth decay can become visible, meaning the exterior of your tooth is severely discolored and damaged. You can also build up plaque and tartar on your teeth, which need professional treatment to remove. If you have thin enamel, plaque can quickly transition into tartar, which requires teeth cleaning at Splendid Dental Atascocita.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay starts with improper oral hygiene. The reason why brushing and flossing are so important is that they both remove food particles from your mouth. When food particles remain trapped between your teeth, in your mouth, or on your tongue, it can create bacteria accumulation and plaque.
Plaque is a white-colored substance that grows on the exterior of your teeth. Brushing helps remove food particles and plaque from your teeth. Plaque serves as the primary food source for harmful bacteria. When bacteria consume plaque, it releases an acid that damages your enamel. Tartar is a hardened form of plaque that can’t be removed without treatment.
An important part of annual dental exams is that your dentist removes any plaque buildup before it causes damage. Plaque and tartar can also cause discoloration, yellowing, and staining.
Once tooth decay develops, it creates small cavities inside your teeth. The longer tooth decay is left untreated, the larger cavities become. If cavities reach the root of your tooth, they create an access point for bacteria to enter your pulp. The pulp is the innermost layer of your tooth that houses nerves and blood vessels. When bacteria infect your tooth, it leads to an infection and a need for immediate root canal treatment. Infections can also cause dental abscesses, which are pus-filled pockets that develop on your gum lines.
Several ways that you can prevent tooth decay include:
- Fluoride treatments
- Avoiding sugary foods
- Using fluoride enriched toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and drug use
- Limiting your coffee and tea consumption
Fluoride Treatments at Splendid Dental Atascocita
A fluoride treatment is an excellent way to protect your teeth. Fluoride treatments only take several minutes to complete, are non-invasive and painless. When you receive fluoride treatments, your dentist will apply a high-concentrate fluoride solution, gel, foam, or varnish with a swab or other utensil to the exterior of your teeth.
You will need to avoid eating or drinking for at least thirty minutes after you receive fluoride treatments to ensure that your teeth can fully absorb the fluoride.
A fluoride treatment can be administered annually or as often as once every three to four months. If you are at mild to significant risk of developing tooth decay, your Splendid Dental Atascocita dentist may recommend regular fluoride treatments. A major benefit of fluoride treatments is that it can repair damage caused by early forms of tooth decay. Adding fluoride treatments to your regular dental hygiene routine can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing cavities and decay.
Schedule a Flouride Treatment with Splendid Dental Atascocita Today
The best way to protect your dental health is to practice proper oral hygiene and see your dentist annually. If you need an added layer of protection, fluoride treatments are a safe and effective way to lower your risk of developing tooth decay. To find out more about Splendid Dental Atascocita and the best fluoride treatments, contact us online or call us today at 832.430.7652.