Tooth decay is a very common concern within the United States. Most adults will experience some form of tooth decay in their lives, but with treatments from Eastern Virginia Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, you can protect and maintain your smile for a lifetime. Our practice offers preventive and restorative treatments at our office to help avoid cavities as well as treat and restore teeth if decay has occurred.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
The main cause of tooth decay is acid-producing bacteria that demineralizes tooth enamel. The bacteria are found in dental plaque, which accumulates on the surfaces of teeth and can accumulate from poor oral hygiene, sugary foods, and time. Plaque, also called biofilm, must be brushed away with toothpaste on a daily basis in order to prevent it from producing acid and consequently weakening the enamel. Neglecting to brush and floss properly can allow the bacteria to consume the sugar and debris left on the teeth, producing harmful lactic acid. Over time, the lactic acid can penetrate the enamel layer and eat away at the vulnerable tissues beneath.
Using Fillings to Restore Tooth Health and Structure
The tooth-colored fillings at Eastern Virginia Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are safer, less-invasive, and more natural-looking than traditional silver or amalgam fillings often used in the past. These restorations are made of composite resin and designed to not only be durable, but to blend in seamlessly with surrounding teeth for a natural appearance. In addition, metal fillings can actually weaken teeth over time because they expand and contract in different temperatures. Composite resin bonds with the tooth and does not react to temperature.
The composite material is prepared and then placed in the space left by a cavity in order to prevent any further damage and decay. The fillings also restore the pressure in your bite so that other teeth are not placed under too much strain when you chew your food.
Lifestyle Factors and Other Preventive Measures
While our dentists offer advanced tooth decay treatment, there is no better treatment than prevention. You can often prevent tooth decay and cavities by maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a strict emphasis on meticulous oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash on a daily basis can dramatically reduce your risk of developing tooth decay. Avoiding sugary and complex carbohydrates can also help in the prevention of decay. We also offer fluoride treatments that help strengthen the enamel and restore structural integrity of the teeth.
Preserve Your Smile
Tooth decay can lead to serious dental health issues, but our dentists are experienced and know how to treat decay before it worsens. We can place a filling, provide fluoride treatments and toothpaste, and even guide you in the right direction about what foods to eat in order to remain decay free. Contact our office online or call (757) 483-6297 to schedule an appointment.