A Family Dentist Warns Against Tooth Decay

Tooth Decay Fairfax, VA

Like your family doctor, a family dentist should be someone you turn to often to help you maintain good health. The dentist will treat serious oral health conditions and restore the full function of teeth. But the dentist also helps with preventive maintenance. One of the most crucial ways this professional supports you is by helping you to avoid tooth decay. There are some important steps you should follow to fight against cavities. The dentist will emphasize these during checkups.

Understand decay and cavities

Dentists treat a wide range of tooth and gum problems. Cavities are among the most common. A cavity is a small hole that develops in the tooth as a result of decay. Untreated, it can cause severe pain and destroy the tooth. Eventually, tooth loss can occur. Infections can also result, which may even spread throughout the mouth and body.

Warning signs of tooth decay

A family dentist will diagnose and treat cavities, but there are signs that a person can identify. Toothaches are among the most frequent symptoms of a cavity. This pain can be sporadic or constant, but it will get more frequent and intense as the cavity grows. Larger cavities may be visible to the naked eye as holes or pits on the tooth. People who have tooth decay may also have sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli. Someone with tooth decay may notice brown or black spots in their teeth.

Preventing tooth decay

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid having tooth decay. This starts with daily habits such as brushing and flossing. Anyone with teeth should brush a least twice a day with fluoride-based toothpaste. Flossing once a day will also ward off cavities, as well as gum disease.

Both of these habits eliminate bacteria from the teeth and gums, which keeps plaque and tartar from forming. Also, at least every six months, people should visit the family dentist for a checkup and cleaning. Limiting the amount of sugary and starchy food and drinks will also help to prevent decay. Replacing these items with fruits, vegetables, and water will make a significant difference.

The effects of tooth decay

Cavities can hurt much more than a minor oral health issue. Untreated, decay can be a severe problem for anyone. Holes in the teeth can grow and eventually expose the roots, resulting in profound pain and discomfort. Teeth can then become loose and even fall out. Bone shrinkage or loss can occur, which can change the shape of the person’s mouth. Decay can cause infections in the teeth, which then may spread throughout the body, even to the heart.

Your family dentist is a vital resource

You should never put off a visit to the dentist’s office. Here, the dentist can spot tooth decay at its earliest stages. Acting quickly, the patient can get relief and maintain good oral health. The dentist can also recommend the right treatments and prevention. If you have the signs and symptoms of decay, call your dentist today.

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