Plaque is caused by poor dental hygiene and can eventually lead to tartar, which must be removed by a dentist or a dental hygienist. If you do not brush twice and floss once a day, you will be more prone to dental cavities or dental caries.
Not all dental cavities are created equal, in fact, according to Oral B; there are three types of dental cavities that can occur when plaque is not properly removed from your teeth. The only way to tell what type of cavity you have is to schedule an appointment with your dentist who will examine your teeth confirming his or her suspicions with dental x-rays.
According to your dentist, the most common tooth decay in older adults is root decay. Those who have receding gums are more apt to get tooth decay on the root surface of their teeth.
Fissure and pit decay can be prevented with Dental Sealants, as sometimes it is difficult to reach the surfaces on your back molars. Dental Sealants can be applied in one office visit and will protect your teeth from decay caused by pits and fissures. This type of tooth decay can become quite severe and can happen quite quickly.
Smooth Surface decay happens on the outside of the flat surface of your teeth. Caused by plaque buildup, it is less serious than root decay and fissure and pit decay. Your dentist will be able to determine if Smooth Surface decay can be treated with fluoride.
Regular checkups with your dentist, watching your diet and avoiding foods that can harm the enamel on your teeth can also help prevent tooth decay as can brushing twice and flossing once a day.
Never stop brushing and flossing even if you think you may have one or more dental cavities. Pain during brushing and flossing means a trip to the dentist, but in the meantime, avoid the most sensitive areas and use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
If you have been bothered by a nagging toothache, or cannot remember the last time you paid a visit to your dentist, schedule an appointment today.