Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems experienced today. Over time, tooth decay leads to the formation of cavities. When left untreated, cavities get larger and impact the deeper layers of your teeth. Eventually you may develop an infection or abscess, and in serious cases it can even lead to tooth loss.
There are three common areas where tooth decay occurs:
- The chewing surfaces of teeth
- At the gum line
- Between the teeth
The process where tooth decay begins and develops into cavities is quite complex. Your body is constantly producing bacteria that feed on the sugars in the foods you consume. This interaction leads to the production of acids. The acids mix with food particles, saliva, and other bacteria to form a sticky film called plaque which coats your teeth. When plaque is not carefully removed, it begins to destroy your tooth enamel, leading to the early stages of tooth decay.
Unfortunately, the early stages of tooth decay generally do not exhibit any symptoms. At your regular dental checkups, Glendale dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox will be able to detect the presence of tooth decay and address the condition before it becomes more serious. But if you put off these important dental checkups and cleanings, the tooth decay can become more severe and you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when you bite down
- Mild to moderate pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet
- Pus discharging near the tooth
The best way to prevent tooth decay is by maintaining a good daily oral hygiene regimen consisting of brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day, and by visiting our Glendale dental office twice a year for your regularly scheduled checkups.
Please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule your next dental checkup. Dr. Donald Wilcox serves patients in Glendale, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, Arizona.