Next to periodontal disease, tooth decay is one of the most common oral health concerns among patients of all ages. When tooth decay is left untreated, patients are more likely to experience infection, tooth pain, and even tooth loss. Tooth decay occurs when plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. As the bacteria in plaque and tartar multiply, the tooth enamel begins to break down. If tooth decay is not addressed, patients may need to undergo intensive treatment to restore health to your existing teeth. Dr. Joyce Kim, your local Williamsport, PA dentist, offers a full range of preventive dental care services in our Williamsport dental office. Dr. Kim can evaluate your teeth and make personalized recommendations to improve the health and quality of your smile.
Cavity Prevention in Williamsport, PA
One of the leading methods to prevent tooth decay is preventive dental care. Preventive dental care is practiced at home and in our Williamsport ental office. Dr. Kim often recommends that patients visit our dental office at least twice a year for a routine dental exam. During your routine dental exam, Dr. Kim will examine the teeth, gums, and mouth to check for any signs of underlying dental concerns If necessary, patients may also receive X-rays.
How do I prevent cavities from forming?
To help keep your teeth protected against cavities, consider following these key tips:
- Brushing the teeth at least twice a day
- Flossing at least once a day
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Schedule biannual routine dental exams
Our team works closely with our patients to help reduce their risk of developing cavities. Dr. Kim can work with you to develop an oral hygiene routine that works for you.
Treatment Options for Cavities
Treatment for cavities will depend on the severity of damage to the teeth and your overall oral health. Dr. Kim will perform a full comprehensive exam before recommending the appropriate treatment solution for your needs.
Your dentist may suggest a dental filling to restore a decayed tooth. A dental filling procedure involves the dentist getting rid of all the decayed enamel and replacing it with a tooth-colored resin material that is hardened to your tooth with ultraviolet light. Fillings can last for many years with proper maintenance and are usually a strong and successful solution to treating cavities.
For more severely decayed teeth, a root canal may be recommended. A root canal procedure is only necessary when the tooth decay has begun to eat into the pulp of your tooth and is infecting the tooth roots.
How do I know if I have a cavity?
Cavities can be very small and cause very few symptoms, making it difficult to notice them if you are examining your teeth at home. Some cavities appear as brown, black, or white stains on your dental structures. Additionally, you may notice tooth sensitivity to very hot or cold foods and beverages. In more extreme cases, patients may feel pain when they bite down on the affected tooth or experience a sudden toothache throughout the day.
Dental Cavities in Children
The number one issue in pediatric dentistry is dental caries, or a tooth cavity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 19% of children ages 2 to 19 have at least one cavity. This is why we stress bringing your children to the dentist as early as possible. Children should be using fluoride based toothpaste once they turn 2 years old. They should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day, eating a healthy diet that is low is sugar and visiting the dentist at least twice a year.
Schedule An Appointment
If you are looking for a reliable dentist in the Williamsport, PA area, come see Dr. Kim. Schedule your preventative dental care appointment today.