Decay is a common dental disease that affects most people to some degree. We provide treatment for decay and also preventative care to help to keep cavities at bay. If you’re worried about decay or you think you may have a cavity that needs attention, we are here to help.
What causes dental decay?
Dental decay, also known as tooth decay, cavities or caries, occurs as a result of damage to the enamel, which is the protective outer coating of the tooth. This damage is caused by acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. These plaque acids gradually wear down the enamel, causing it to become thin and weak and eventually resulting in cavities. Once the enamel is worn, there is also a risk that the acids can damage the dentin, the section of the tooth, which lies beneath the enamel.
The risk of decay is increased by poor oral hygiene and a diet that is rich in sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
Signs of decay
Often, there are no signs of decay in the early stages. However, it is sometimes possible to see cavities, which look like small yellow or brown pits, in the tooth surface. You may also experience tooth pain and sensitivity.
Dealing with decay
If you have a small or medium-sized cavity, the most common course of action is a filling. Fillings are designed to fill up the cavity and reduce the risk of further damage to the tooth. If decay has spread into the pulp tissue, the living part of the tooth, root canal treatment may be recommended and you may benefit from a new crown.
Preventing tooth decay
The best way to prevent dental decay is to adopt a thorough dental hygiene regime at home. This should include brushing twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and flossing. It’s also really important to keep an eye on your diet and stick to the recommended intake of sugar. We also advise steering clear of fizzy pop, energy drinks and fruit juice, all of which are acidic and are often laden with sugar. Regular dental appointments are also really important.