It has as many aliases as a con-artist. Whatever name you give it, tooth decay is serious.

You might refer to it as cavities or the more technical term, dental caries. Either way it’s vital that you get ahead of tooth decay before it worsens…and for good reason.

Call it what it is

Bottom line: tooth decay is an oral disease. It has a destructive affect on your teeth and gums.

Tooth decay ranks alongside the common cold in its impact on our population. In fact, over 90 percent of the population has had a dental cavity in their lifetime.

The cause? Tooth decay!

This might be of no surprise to you

What you eat and how you care for your teeth are the leading causes of tooth decay. Allowing plaque to build up on your teeth sets decay in motion.

Dental plaque is a sticky film that forms on the surface of your teeth. Worse, it harbors oral bacteria.

The sugary or starchy foods you eat form acids. The acid breaks down your tooth enamel and weakens your tooth.

Plaque must be removed. If not, it hardens into tartar (calculus).

The risk to your teeth and gums increases when the tartar forms beneath your gum line between your teeth and gums. This creates a problem that your daily oral hygiene efforts cannot remove.

Your best and only cure

Tartar must be eliminated from your teeth and gum tissue to prevent oral bacteria from a further attack. The holes or crevices that bacteria cause result in tooth decay.

You might experience sensitive teeth or a toothache. These are early warning signs that decay is at work.

Often, tooth decay can do an amount of damage to your teeth without you noticing. It’s vital that you stay consistent with your dental examinations and teeth cleanings.

Speaking of teeth cleanings, a professional cleaning by one of our dental hygienists is the most effective and recommended strategy for removing plaque and tartar build up from your teeth and gums.

Professional oral care combined with your at-home dental routine can make a significant difference in combating the impact of tooth decay. If necessary, your damaged teeth can be treated with dental fillings or on occasion, a dental crown.

Contact our Knoxville dental office with your concerns or questions about tooth decay. Schedule you and your family’s next dental examination and teeth cleaning to stay ahead the damaging affects of decay.

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