Tooth decay causes cavities and destroys tooth structure. Tooth decay can expand and affect both the outer coating of the tooth (enamel) and the inner layer of the tooth (dentin). Tooth decay occurs when foods containing sugars and starches are left on the teeth. Bacteria live in the mouth and it causes these foods to turn into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form bacterial plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that sticks to teeth. The acids in plaque stick to teeth, dissolve the enamel and create holes called cavities.
Cavities may be discovered during regular dental check-ups. The dentist checks the surface of teeth with an instrument. If the surface of the tooth feels soft and a dental instrument 'sticks' into a pit on the tooth, this may be a warning sign of a cavity. We may use the aid of a dental laser, called Diagnodent, which also detects weak spots on the enamel. Dental x-rays are an excellent tool that can show cavities before they become visible to the eye. In advanced stages of tooth decay, you might experience discomfort to sweet, hot, or cold foods or drinks. Other signs of tooth decay are visible pits, darkness of color and/or holes in the teeth.
Cavities can be found through the use of our diagnostic camera, or through a dental laser called Diagnodent, which also detects weak spots on the tooth enamel.