Cavities and Tooth Decay

Online Dental Education Library

Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Bridge

Bridge vs Implant

Bruxism

Caring for Dental Implant

Caring for Implant Supported Bridge

Caring for Traditional Bridge

Causes of Tooth Pain

Composite Filling (Posterior)

Composite vs Amalgam Filling

Consequence of Bone Loss

Cracked Tooth

Debridement

Dental Erosion

Endodontic Abscess

Filling vs Crown

Gingivitis

Gingival Probing & Pocket Depth

Gingival Recession

Healthy Gums

Impacted 3rd Molars

Implant Supported Bridge

Manual vs Electric Toothbrush

Missing Teeth

Non-Carious Cervical Lesions

Occlusal Appliance for Tooth Wear

Oral Hygiene

Progression of Decay

Plaque and Calculus

Progression of Decay

Proper Brushing Techniques

Proper Flossing Techniques

Root Canal

Root Canal with Post-Core Buildup

Root Canal with Post Core Impression

Recurrent Decay Around Restoration

Scaling and Root Planing

Single Crown

Single Implant

Single Tooth Loss

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Tooth Wear

Trauma-Chipped Tooth

Understanding Tooth Wear

Veneers

Whitening with Bleaching Trays

What Does it Mean to Have Healthy Gums?

Why Do Teeth Crack?

What is Occlusion?

What is TMD?

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is caused by a variety of things; in medical terms, cavities are called caries, which are caused by long-term destructive forces acting on tooth structures such as enamel and the tooth's inner dentin material.

These destructive forces include frequent exposure to foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Soda, candy, ice cream—even milk—are common culprits.  Left inside your mouth from non-brushing and flossing, these materials break down quickly, allowing bacteria to do their dirty work in the form of a harmful, colorless sticky substance called plaque.

The plaque works in concert with leftover food particles in your mouth to form harmful acids that destroy enamel and other tooth structures.

If cavities aren't treated early enough, they can lead to more serious problems requiring treatments such as root canal therapy.

Preventing Cavities

The best defense against cavities is good oral hygiene, including brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and rinsing. Your body's own saliva is also an excellent cavity fighter, because it contains special chemicals that rinse away many harmful materials. Chewing a good sugarless gum will stimulate saliva production between brushing.

Special sealants and varnishes can also be applied to stave off cavities from forming.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have a cavity:

  • Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold water or foods.
  • A localized pain in your tooth or near the gum line.
  • Teeth that change color.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby's mouth.

If left untreated, this can lead to premature decay of your baby's future primary teeth, which can later hamper the proper formation of permanent teeth.

One of the best ways to avoid baby bottle tooth decay is to not allow your baby to nurse on a bottle while going to sleep. Encouraging your toddler to drink from a cup as early as possible will also help stave off the problems associated with baby bottle tooth decay.


Maryville, TN Dentist Sean Sinclair, DDS 1117 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy Maryville, TN 37804 (865) 681-3004 Call For Financing Options