Tooth decay and cavities affect most patients at some point in their lives. Children and adults are equally susceptible to decay, which is the result of harmful bacteria making their way into the crevices in our teeth, filled by sugars that are left on tooth surfaces after consuming foods and beverages containing sugar.
Fox Lake, IL Dentist Dr. Thomas Prendergast places an emphasis on preventive dental care, stressing the important role that it plays in maintaining a healthy smile. Routine dental visits provide the opportunity for Dr. Prendergast and our staff to spot the early signs of decay, preventing tooth damage or periodontal disease from advancing. It also offers the chance for us to provide you with personalized oral hygiene advice that is tailored to your unique oral health concerns and lifestyle habits, helping you to keep your teeth and gums healthy between routine dental visits.
Why Do You Get Cavities?
Cavities, or tooth decay, is almost always the result of sugars left behind on surfaces of the teeth and gums. Sugars are quickly turned into harmful acids by bacteria, damaging the tooth structure and gum tissue.
Brushing and flossing daily removes these sugars and the bacteria that have begun to grow on our teeth and gums, greatly reducing the risk of decay and cavities. However, even the most diligent oral hygiene routine can be hijacked by several factors:
- Teeth that have large or many crevices
- Acidic foods that attack the tooth enamel
- Certain medical conditions and medications that can affect gum health and cause dry mouth
- Poorly placed fillings or restorations that allow acid to build underneath and into the tooth structure
- Lifestyle habits including smoking and a diet high in sugar
Our modern diet and typical lifestyle makes most of us prone to tooth decay to some degree. Dr. Prendergast can help you to minimize your personal risk with tips for keeping your mouth healthy so that you can enjoy your smile for as long as possible. You may benefit from additional dental cleanings, at home oral care products or a certain type of tooth brush.
Schedule Your Appointment
The key to fighting tooth decay is good dental care! Be sure to visit our Fox Lake, IL dentist office at least twice a year. Looking for a new dentist? We accept new patients- call our office or schedule an appointment online.