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Cavities 101 From Our Medford Dentists

October 10, 2019
by
Dr. Dimitrios Vareldzis

Protecting your smile from damage and infection is an ongoing effort. Our Medford dentists believe that the more you know about how dental issues develop, the better prepared you are to make healthy dental decisions. That is why, today, we are giving you some important information about cavity development. We hope you find this short article helpful, and, remember, you can always reach out to our Hillcrest Family Dentistry team to learn more!

  • What is a cavity?

A cavity, also known as dental caries, occurs when oral bacteria are able to infiltrate the natural tooth structure. Bacteria de-mineralize and weaken the tooth structure—if left unchecked, the infection will move through each layer of the tooth—the enamel, dentin, and dental pulp.

  • How do cavities develop?

We all have oral bacteria in our mouths all of the time. Generally, there is a balancing act happening in your mouth; oral bacteria weaken enamel, and then saliva and oral hygiene products re-mineralize it again.

When re-mineralization isn’t happening fast enough, or often enough, the tooth structure begins to degrade, and bacteria run rampant.

  • How can I protect my smile?

Cleaning your smile as directed by your dental team will help to keep oral bacteria to a minimum. Beyond that, you want to support re-mineralization: drink plenty of water, limit sugar and acid exposure, and use products with fluoride, which has been shown to fortify enamel.

If you think that you are already dealing with dental cavities, it is definitely in your best interest to treat the infection ASAP, so that it isn’t able to spread throughout the smile. Newly developed cavities can often be treated with simple, fast, and affordable fillings, rather than more comprehensive restorations.

Our Medford dentists offer preventive treatment to protect your smile, as well as restorative care to reverse existing problems. Give our team a call to learn more, and to schedule a personal consultation!