In addition to being one of the first things people notice about you, your smile enables you to eat, speak, and express yourself. Keeping your teeth healthy is important not just for how your smile looks, but for your overall health as well. Cavities, and the bacteria that cause them, are the main threat to the health of your smile.
Dr. Brent L. Blaylock is a Durham, NC dentist offering laser cavity detection to detect tooth decay earlier than ever. Your at-home oral hygiene regimen, supplemented by regular visits with Dr. Blaylock, can help you keep your smile healthy for life.
What Is A Cavity?
The hard outer layer of the teeth is called the enamel, and when enamel has been weakened by bacteria, small holes are formed. These holes are called cavities, and they expose the sensitive tissues and nerves inside. This puts the affected tooth at higher risk of infection, which can cause widespread health problems. The longer cavities go untreated, the more the tooth can decay and potentially require extraction or gum disease.
How Do Cavities Form?
Our mouths contain live bacteria, most of which is relatively harmless on its own. These bacteria tend to concentrate and form plaque in places that are hard for us to clean such as in between teeth and right at the gum line.
When we eat foods that contain sugars and starches, the bacteria in our mouths break these components down. This creates acids that bind to the plaque already on our teeth and eat away at their enamel.
Laser Cavity Detection
Laser cavity detection is a simple procedure. This pen-like device gently glides over the surface of the teeth, shining a laser light that reflects differently on the surface of a tooth with tooth decay inside. This enables Dr. Blaylock to identify tooth decay much earlier than ever before, helping patients avoid complex dental procedures to treat more advanced decay.
How Are Cavities Treated?
Dentists treat cavities with fillings. In this treatment, your dentist reinforces the tooth enamel with a composite resin. Most fillings today are hardened with a UV light and match the color of your teeth so they don’t stand out. By sealing the cavity, bacteria can no longer infiltrate the tooth and the teeth are protected.
Modern Cavity Treatment in Durham, NC
Cavities pose a silent threat to the health of your smile, making prevention and prompt treatment incredibly important. Schedule your appointment online or call 919.518.9963 to make sure you’re taking the right steps to protect your teeth and your health.