You hear about cavities as toothpaste commercials bombard your favorite morning shows. Avoiding sugar, brushing your teeth, and dental cleanings can help you to avoid tooth decay, but how does decay work?
Our dentist in Vienna, VA focuses on educating our patients on how oral health works so that they can keep their natural teeth for a lifetime. With the proper dental care, home care techniques, and effective products, you can keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.
Decay begins due to bacteria in your mouth, near your gum line and on your teeth. Bacteria, like any animal, needs food to survive. When you eat foods, especially sugary or starchy ones, you are giving the bacteria in your mouth food they love and that allows them to multiply at alarming speeds.
As the decay eat, reproduce, and spread, they create an acidic environment inside your mouth. The acids soften and eat away at your tooth enamel, the hard protective coating on the outside of your tooth structure. Once decay bores through the protective enamel, it comes in contact with the softer dentin of your tooth. Your dentin surrounds your nerve like a cushion.
Decay can also eat through the dentin in your teeth. You will likely never feel decay until it is so severe that it gets close to your nerve. At this point, you may need a root canal and a protective dental crown to restore your tooth.
We use digital dental x-rays to detect decay in its earliest stages. We can also sometimes see decay through a visual exam, but x-rays allow us to detect and treat decay when it is small and easier to manage.
If you are looking for a gentle, compassionate dentist in Vienna, VA, contact us to schedule your next preventive dental appointment. We will always care for you the same way we would like our own families to be treated.