45 Emerson Plaza East, Suite 101, Emerson, NJ 07630

Tooth Decay: Cavities

How does tooth decay (cavity) start?

Your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. When we eat or drink, the bacteria consume sugars and carbohydrates in the foods and produce acids that cause our enamel or root surface to break down.

Plaque collects around the gumline and on the chewing surfaces of your molars in the back of your mouth, putting these areas at higher risk of developing decay.

Smaller cavities that are just starting may not cause any pain – so you MAY NOT EVEN KNOW there are any cavities.

For cavities that are only in the first layer of the tooth (the enamel) – Drs. Nilay Shah and Radhika Kapur Shah will recommend preventive measures to try to remineralize the lost tooth structure. One example of this is using MI Paste Plus with custom fitted trays that fit your teeth and allow the Paste to act more rapidly to the confined areas within the tray.

For more advanced tooth decay, you may have several signs or symptoms:

Symptoms of tooth decay

  • Food trapped frequently between the teeth
  • Discomfort or pain in or around your mouth
  • Difficulty biting down on certain foods
  • Sensitivity to hot, cold or even sweet foods
  • Bad breath

What happens if I don’t do anything about it?

Without any treatment, the bacteria of decay will travel towards the nerve, through the tooth and develop into an abscess – a severe infection under the gums. This infection can spread to other parts of the body with serious, and in rare cases fatal, consequences.

Maintaining good oral hygiene and Preventive dentistry is the best way to prevent initiation or spread of tooth decay. Don’t let your small cavities turn into root canals – call us now at Mint Dental – Family Dentistry of Emerson, NJ and see how our doctors’ conservative approach to chasing tooth decay can help you.

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