Identifying and Preventing Tooth Decay

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Tooth decay is a leading oral disease, affecting patients of all ages and backgrounds. Tooth decay is commonly associated with people who fail to sustain a consistent oral care routine, yet even regular brushers and flossers can develop cavities if they fail to see their dentist consistently.

If tooth decay is detected at an early stage – this is before a substantial amount of tooth structure is destroyed – it can actually be reversed. Modern dental tools are sensitive enough to diagnose tooth decay and an experienced dentist in Richmond, such as Sheen Dental, is trained to cure areas affected by cavities without affecting the rest of a patient’s healthy teeth.

How does tooth decay affect patients?

A dentist in Richmond cannot stress enough the importance of early intervention in patients with tooth decay. Tooth decay develops when bacteria start eating away the tooth enamel. These bacteria are usually found in food remains that are not brushed off properly after eating. These remains turn into plaque, a sticky film that builds up on the teeth and gums. Tooth decay starts affecting the teeth by creating small holes in the tooth enamel and if left untreated, cavities can get sensitive, infected and painful. If left untreated for a prolonged period of time, tooth decay will reach the root canal and can even cause tooth loss.

How is tooth decay diagnosed?

Tooth decay can be diagnosed either by the direct observations of a dentist in Richmond or with the help of dental x-rays. X-rays allow the patient to look into the tooth structure and determine whether there is a problem beneath seemingly healthy teeth. X-rays also enable dentists to look under and in-between fillings or under dental restorations as well as for infections in the roots.

How is tooth decay treated?

Depending on the condition of each patient, tooth decay can be treated in different ways. If tooth decay is at an early stage, chances are that a dentist can remineralise a patient’s teeth with fluoride. If tooth decay has already affected the tooth enamel, then a filling or root canal treatment may be needed. Early detection and prevention can save from this type of treatment.

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