According to a report done by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), 92% of adults (ages 20-64) have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. While we know preventive dentistry can keep the infection-causing bacteria at bay, if you were to leave decay untreated it could cause further health complications like an abscess or even loss, altogether. The sooner you’re able to catch a cavity, the easier it is to treat. In fact, your dentist may even be able to reverse a cavity, if they detect it in its earliest stages.
Early Detection Is Key
You probably already know that tooth decay leads to cavities – but how does the infection begin? You may have heard your dentist talk about plaque before, a normal bacteria around your mouth. However, the problem occurs when plaque comes in contact with sugars – as the combination of the two results in acid. When these sugars are frequently consumed, the acid begins to wear away at the outer layer of your tooth, or, the enamel. Once it’s broken through the enamel, the acid then begins to form holes – or, cavities – in your tooth.
If a cavity is left to progress, you may end up needing invasive procedures in order to restore your tooth. However, detecting cavities in their earliest stages has become easier than ever now, thanks to the advancement of technology!
Shaped similar to a pen, DIAGNOdent is easily maneuvered around the mouth to help give your dentist optimal visibility, without decreasing your comfort level. This laser technology is able to detect any changes in your tooth’s structure, like demineralization (the earliest stages of tooth decay).
The bottom line is; even missing one dentist appointment could result in undetected tooth decay and lead to a cavity – or worse. If you haven’t seen your dentist in the last 6 months, don’t hesitate to make an appointment!