What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental concerns and can develop in patients of all ages from children to adults. Most patients will experience some degree of tooth decay during their life span. While tooth decay is mostly a preventable disease, it remains a leading oral health epidemic in the United States. Preventative oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist can help keep teeth free of plaque and tartar. Dr. Aubrey Myers encourages patients to visit our Emerald Isle, NC dentist office at least once every six months for an early diagnosis of any developing oral health concern. During your routine dental visits, we screen for the earliest signs of tooth decay and offer personalized advice for maintaining a healthy smile between visits.

Treating Tooth Decay

It is important to treat dental cavities as soon as they develop to prevent the need for a root canal or tooth extraction. A dental filling can typically provide a long-term, durable dental solution for minor decay. For more advanced decay, Dr. Myers may recommend an alternative treatment to restore the patient’s oral health. Dr. Myers will make all attempts to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible to help support long-term oral health and bite stability.

Treatment Options for Cavities

Why Visit the Dentist: The Value of Preventative Dental Care

Tooth decay is most commonly a result of poor oral hygiene. An acidic byproduct of oral bacteria causes tooth decay. Bacteria feed off of tartar and plaque build up that gets trapped in between teeth.  The acidic byproduct erodes tooth enamel leaving a hole in the tooth’s surface. Once compromised, the tooth is susceptible to infection.

Brushing and flossing twice a day is a patient’s best defense against the development of tooth decay. If you have any questions about the most effective brushing or flossing techniques, ask your Emerald Isle dental hygienist for tips and tricks. Our friendly and encouraging staff will be happy to help you learn the best way to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

Visiting the dentist every six months is the other key factor in keeping your smile cavity free. At Emerald Isle Smiles our dental health exams are designed to help prevent the development and spread of any arising dental health concern. We provide thorough and comprehensive dental exams and screen for periodontal disease, tooth decay, oral cancer and bite alignment. Dental cleanings offer a deep clean of the small crevices that can be difficult to reach with your at home oral hygiene routine. Typically, patients who visit the dentist on a regular bi-annual basis develop fewer cavities and experience less advanced oral health concerns long term than those who do not.