You’ve likely heard the word “cavity” and the phrase “tooth decay” quite frequently; it’s impossible to watch your run-of-the-mill toothpaste or mouthwash commercial without hearing these dental buzz words. There’s a reason the prevention of tooth decay is important, and why you see dental products so often advertised as a means against the dreaded cavity: Nearly all adults will experience a form of tooth decay. While it’s easily preventable and often easily treated, tooth decay does pose a major threat to the health and well-being of your mouth when left untreated.
Tooth Decay & Tooth Cavity FAQ
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is permanent damage to your teeth. The tooth structure breaks down, typically characterized by small holes in your teeth. Your tooth enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth, and it protects the structure of your tooth. Certain habits, like skipped brushing and sugary soda, can erode your tooth enamel, which leaves your tooth more susceptible to decay.
What is the difference between tooth decay and a cavity?
They are one in the same. A tooth cavity is a form of tooth decay.
How is tooth decay treated?
When tooth decay is in the form of a cavity, it is commonly treated by being filled with a dental filling material, such as dental amalgam or composite resin.
What happens if you leave your cavity untreated?
An unfilled cavity can expand and deepen to become worse. Tooth decay can advance to an infection in your root canal that requires root canal therapy or you may have to undergo a tooth extraction if the damage is too severe.
Are white fillings better?
Many dentists prefer tooth-colored fillings because they blend in with your smile seamlessly, so no one ever has to know you had a cavity filled.
How can you prevent cavities?
The best maintenance to prevent cavities is to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use an anti-bacterial mouthwash. It’s also important to visit your dentist for a dental cleaning and check-up every six months. Watch your diet and be mindful of eating sweets and starches in moderation.
About Dr. Jeffrey Allen & Dr. Neumann
Dr. Jeffrey Allen and Dr. Neumann provide comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call us at (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions, and visit Allen Family Dentistry on Google+ to leave a review.