Causes of Tooth Decay – Cavities

Mar 30th, 2012 | By | Category: Dental News, Preventive Care

cavities fresnoEveryone knows there is a link between sugar consumption and cavities, but there’s more to preventing cavities than just avoiding sugar. Even the starchy foods you eat, such as bread and potatoes, are treated as sugars by your body and can contribute to tooth decay. Frequent snacking can also increase your risk of developing cavities. Drs. Denes and Denes explain the causes of tooth decay and measures you can take to prevent it.

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a destruction of the teeth caused by food and oral bacteria. The sugars and starches you eat combine with the bacteria in your mouth to form acids. Continuous exposure to acids will eat away at your tooth enamel, creating holes in your teeth known as decay or cavities. If left untreated, the decay will extend into the dentin and tooth pulp, affecting your nerves, causing pain, and possibly causing infection.

How is tooth decay treated?

The treatment for tooth decay depends on the size and extent of the cavity. For a cavity in its earliest stages, a fluoride treatment can sometimes reverse the damage. Most minor tooth decay can be treated with a dental filling or a porcelain inlay or onlay. Very large cavities may require the use of a porcelain crown. If the decay has extended into the tooth pulp and caused infection or nerve injury, a root canal procedure will be performed, followed by the placement of a crown over the tooth.

How can I prevent tooth decay?

Take the following measures to prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day
  • Floss at least once daily
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks, or at least consume them with a larger meal to lessen their acidic effects
  • Eat starchy foods with a larger meal
  • Limit snacking between meals, as more acids are produced the more often you eat
  • See Dr. Denes regularly for checkups and cleanings, and ask if you are a candidate for fluoride treatments or sealants

If you have untreated tooth decay, call Drs. Alex and Claudia Denes today at (559) 297-1800 to schedule an appointment. Fresno Dental Studio treats patients from Fresno, Clovis, Madera, Sanger, Mendota, Orange Cove, Reedley, Selma, and the surrounding areas.

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