Taking care of your teeth is very important for many reasons. However, the most important reason to care for them is simply to preserve them for as long as possible. Your teeth require daily care and bi-annual deep cleanings. Neglecting them or skipping these vital steps leaves them more susceptible to decay. Tooth decay is when there is damage to the tooth’s surface (the enamel). It is one of the most common diseases that dentists see.
Dr. Paul Karpovich is a trusted general dentist in Timonium, MD. He provides treatment for his patients that suffer from tooth decay.
About Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is often referred to as dental caries or more commonly, cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) it is one of the biggest untreated health problems today. While anyone is susceptible to it, this disease is very prevalent among children. The CDC states that children between the ages of 6-8 have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth.
During your regular dental exams, your dentist will look for signs of decay on your teeth. These signs include:
- Bad Breath
- Grey, brown or black spots on your teeth
- A small hole forming on the tooth
There are also several ways you can tell if you have a cavity. A toothache is the most common symptom. It can be constant pain that keeps you awake at night or sharp, sudden pain. You may also experience tooth sensitivity or tenderness when you are eating or drinking something hot or cold.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is physical damage to the surface of the tooth. There are several factors working together that lead to this damage. When bacteria in your saliva meet up with sugar and starches from the food you eat, it forms a substance called plaque. Everyone must brush their teeth every day to remove plaque from their teeth. Otherwise, it will sit there and produce acid which slowly eats away at your teeth. Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause of tooth decay.
Treatment for Tooth Decay in Timonium, MD
To tackle this oral health problem, dentists offer several treatments and preventive measures.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to schedule your routine dentist appointments every six months. At these visits, we will thoroughly clean your teeth to remove any built up plaque that may be hiding in your mouth. This, in combination with daily brushing and flossing, is the best way to prevent dental cavities.
We recommend placing dental sealants on children’s molars when they erupt. Since the molars are used to chew food, they are highly susceptible to decay. Dental sealants are thin coatings of plastic that the dentist will paint on the teeth. They will adhere to entire chewing surface of the tooth and act as a barrier protecting the tooth against dental cavities.
If the dentist sees that you have a cavity, he will recommend a tooth filling. This is a conservative treatment to preserve the tooth by stopping the progression of the decay. The dentist will remove any decayed portion of the tooth and fill in the hole with special material. Dental fillings come in various materials including gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, and composite resin.
Dr. Paul Karpovich is a caring dentist in Timonium, MD that wants to help his patients keep their teeth is good health. Let him know at your next appointment if you suspect you have a dental cavity or would like to learn more about how to prevent them. If you need to book your routine dental exam, contact our local dentist office at (410) 221-3085 or request your appointment with Dr. Karpovich on our website.