What You Should Know about Tooth Decay
Tooth decay, which is caused by oral bacteria, can cause numerous dental health problems, including infection, cavities and bad breath. If left untreated, gum disease and loose teeth can develop. Our North Hollywood dentist recommends maintaining good daily dental hygiene and a regular professional cleaning schedule in order to reduce your risk of tooth decay.
Plaque, a sticky biofilm that constantly accumulates on your teeth, contains oral bacteria that produce acids that can attack your teeth and dissolve dental enamel. This process is known as demineralization. Demineralization is most common on the chewing surfaces of molars, along the gumline and between teeth. Brushing after meals, flossing and using fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water can help clean plaque and bacteria from teeth and remineralize them.
Tooth decay may not be noticeable in its earliest stages, or it may simply appear to be a slight brown or yellow discoloration on the surface of the tooth. Dental decay can be identified during a dental exam when our dentist notices an area that is softened by decay. Dental X-rays may also detect areas of decay. Decayed areas must be treated to preserve the tooth’s structure.
Our North Hollywood dental exam specialist will remove the decayed area and place a dental filling. If the decay has reached the inner structures of the tooth, a root canal treatment may be necessary. A dental crown can be placed to protect the tooth once the root canal treatment has been performed.
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste after meals, flossing daily and having professional cleanings at least twice a year can help prevent dental decay. Call us today to learn more.
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