At our Tomball dental office we detect tooth decay and cavities at an early stage using the latest technology and do minimally invasive treatments before the cavities get bigger.
Cavities are caused by an infectious disease called caries.
There are many reasons why cavities occur.
- poor oral hygiene
- diet and carbonated drinks
- excessive plaque left on the teeth
- certain medications that cause dry mouth
Caries are caused by certain types of bacteria that live in the mouth. Most bacteria that live in the mouth are good and help keep the mouth healthy, but some bacteria are harmful and can damage teeth, gums, the bone that supports the teeth.
The bacteria live in a sticky film called plaque that continuously forms on teeth and feeds on the sugars from the food particles. The acids produced from the harmful bacteria soften the thin protective layer called enamel, and over time a hole or a cavity can form in the enamel.
If left untreated, a small area of decay on the tooth surface can penetrate deep into the tooth structure, which causes sensitivity and pain, eventually leading to infection.
Active decay can spread to other teeth and from person to person through the exchange of saliva.
That’s why it is imperative to see a dentist every 6 months so that any cavities seen at an early stage of development can be fixed and treated in a minimally invasive manner. In addition, small cavities that go unnoticed with radiographs can be detected through a zero radiation cavity detection system called carivu.