Tooth decay occurs when oral bacteria, which is found in plaque – the sticky film that forms on your teeth – leaves acid in the mouth that attacks the enamel and causes it to weaken.
A number of risk factors can increase the likelihood that a patient will experience tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene practices are often an underlying cause, as they allow plaque to accumulate and harden into tartar, which can only be removed in a professional cleaning. Nutrition factors, such as excessive consumption of sugar or acidic drinks, may also contribute to tooth decay, as can genetic predispositions, dry mouth (a frequent side effect of medications) and tooth grinding.
If you consult with a holistic dentist about your tooth decay, it may be possible to identify and correct some of the issues that are putting you at risk for this condition, as well as other oral diseases, such as gum disease.
You may not recognize signs of early-stage tooth decay yourself, which is why it is so important to get routine dental exams and cleanings. When your teeth are monitored in such brief intervals, it’s much easier to act early to repair the damage done by the cavity.
A holistic dentist can also recommend the treatment for decay that will best meet your needs. If you pursue treatment soon enough after the cavity is diagnosed, it may be possible to address the defect with just a small filling.
Patients may prefer mercury free dentistry to treat tooth decay for a number of reasons. First of all, fillings that contain mercury are darkly colored, and they detract from the smile significantly. Mercury free dentistry makes use of composite materials for this same purpose, and the composites can be tailored to approximate the shade of the biological tooth so it is less noticeable.
Some patients may also have concerns about toxin exposure from amalgam fillings that contain mercury. While the evidence of the risks remains inconclusive, such patients can get peace of mind by exploring mercury free dentistry treatments.
Make sure that you are doing everything you can to reduce your risk of tooth decay, and take care to see your dentist every six months so that a cavity can be addressed quickly if one does develop. Call our office at 972-458-2464 to learn more about what you can do to prevent tooth decay.