The symptoms associated with tooth decay and cavities can vary significantly. This depends mainly on the location and amount of decay. Patients may not even feel any symptoms when a cavity begins to form. However, as decay increases, a patient may present numerous symptoms, including toothache, tooth sensitivity, pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet, visible holes in the teeth, and staining on the tooth’s surface.
TAlthough a process that takes place over time, tooth decay often results in the development of cavities. And the root cause of tooth decay is often dental plaque, a transparent, sticky film that coats a patient’s teeth. Dental plaque results from inadequate cleaning of the teeth following the consumption of sugars and starches. When not correctly removed from the teeth, sugar and starches can provoke the rapid accumulation of bacteria that later forms plaque. This plaque then remains on the teeth and can harden under or above the gum line, turning into tartar. And tartar can make plaque incredibly challenging to remove, serving as a protective barrier for bacteria.
TWhen the acids in plaque remove minerals from a tooth’s outer enamel, tiny holes can form. This is the first stage of cavity development. Bacteria and acid can reach the dentin once areas of enamel are entirely worn away. Softer and less resistant to acid, dentin contains minuscule tubes that serve to communicate directly with a tooth’s nerves. Thus tooth sensitivity often results at this stage. Bacteria and acid may then power through to the pulp -- the innermost tooth material that contains its nerves and blood vessels. As a result, the pulp can become irritated or swollen, pressing the nerve and causing pain and discomfort that can expand to the bone’s root.
Dental sealants - “A sealant is a protective plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of back teeth. It seals off grooves and crannies that tend to collect food, protecting tooth enamel from plaque and acid.” Sealants are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all school-age children. Although sealants must be frequently checked, they can last for multiple years.
Dr. Julie Liberman DDS of Great Neck Dental Care NY is happy to provide regular professional teeth cleanings, oral exams, and fillings to patients in the Great Neck area, spanning New Hyde Park, Floral Park, Douglaston, Jericho, Roslyn, etc. Contact us today to book your appointment and learn more about how you can prevent and address tooth decay and cavities!
Never been happier with a dentist before! The professionalism, individual care, sparkling clean office, and the range of services are amazing. Highly recommended!