Charleston area dentist explains cavities and tooth decay

maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for life

Every dentist stresses the importance of good oral health for a reason—to reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease and cavities. When the teeth and gums are not cared for properly, problems such as these may become an issue for patients of all ages. Dr. Greenberg, a Charleston area dentist from Mouth Carolina Dentistry, urges his patients to maintain good oral health habits to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for life!

Cavities, also known as tooth decay, can form on any part of the tooth. Coronal cavities form on the chewing surfaces, while root cavities form on the root of the tooth when the gums recede and leave part of the root exposed. Cavities can also form around cosmetic restorations including dental crowns and filings, and may develop underneath veneers. It is important for patients to visit their dentist regularly for examinations to ensure problems are not occurring underneath the surface of restorations.

Patients often know they have a cavity when they experience pain while eating sweets or brushing their teeth. However, they can also be underneath the surface where patients can’t see them or may not experience discomfort. Only a dentist can spot these cavities that are too small to be problematic for the patient, but big enough to be addressed with cosmetic fillings.

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Cavities should be treated as soon as they are discovered. They can destroy an otherwise healthy tooth by going deep into the enamel where they may reach the dental pulp. This is where the nerves of a tooth are contained. This can result in infection or an abscess, which may require a patient to undergo a root canal or, in worst cases, an extraction.

Charleston patients can avoid cavities through a number of home care techniques. Patients should brush and floss after every meal to remove plaque and bacteria. Visiting the dentist regularly is a must, as it allows Dr. Greenberg to catch problems early enough for proper diagnosis and treatment. Patients should avoid diets heavy in sugars and acids, such as candies and sodas.

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