Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Are You Smarter Than...A Cavity?

Cavity - it can be a dreaded word for many people.  No one likes to hear that they have a cavity but did you know that tooth decay is a common disorder second only to the common cold?

Are you at risk for cavities?  The answer is yes! Everyone is at risk but some people are at a higher risk than others and if you know the risk factors you can improve your oral health and avoid extensive restorative work by catching decay early on.

If you have already had cavities then you know that you are more likely to develop them in the future.   Adults get more cavities than children.  In fact there has been a surge in cavities among seniors citizens.  This can be due to some medications drying the mouth and decreasing saliva which is a natural barrier for your teeth.  Saliva helps to neutralize acids and wash away bacteria as well as it helps food from sticking to your teeth.  If a dry mouth is a concern for you we can help.  There are great products that can help with dry mouth.

The tricky aspect of cavities is that mild tooth decay has no symptoms.  Pain will only exist in more advanced cavities and so it is critical to stay up on your bi-annual dental cleanings and exams.  It is always easier to diagnose and repair the damage caused in the early stages of tooth decay, saving yourself a lot of pain and expense in the future.

Cracks and chips in your teeth or poorly done fillings and crowns in the past can be the perfect breeding ground for tooth decay.  It is hard to clean properly deep down into hidden pockets or crevices, thus decay can grow rapidly without you even knowing it.  

A more obvious cause of tooth decay can be due to poor oral hygiene.  We introduce or expose our teeth to many substances throughout the day.  Sugary or acidic foods can do a lot of damage if not cleaned off the tooth surface frequently.  Not brushing or flossing properly lets bacteria multiply, which in turn allows cavities to form.

Your family history as well as medical history can be contributing factors as well.  Poor oral hygiene habits passed down or genetics that make teeth more susceptible can both cause tooth decay to be more prevalent in your family.  As we discussed last week, eating disorders can also do great damage to tooth enamel.

The greatest defense you have in the war against tooth decay is to get regular dental exams and cleanings.  This will allow you to be aware of what is going on in your mouth and to take preventative measures to protect your teeth.  With the use of digital x-Rays and Laser Cavity Detection Dr. Clark can see even the smallest amount of decay and help stop it from progressing. 

It is ALWAYS easier to treat tooth decay in the early stages.  We can't emphasize that enough.  It is even better to PREVENT tooth decay.  We also offer medical management of tooth decay which can really make a difference in preventing a life long cavity problem.  It is best to never have a cavity again!  We can help you accomplish that.

If it has been awhile since you've had your teeth looked at, please call our office today!  We are still running our FREE Exam Special as well as offering 10% off any additional services that you might require.  Save yourself time, pain and money today!

Call to schedule your FREE exam today!
(541) 451-1440

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