Grand Prairie Dentist’s Cavity Timeline

A cavity is a hole that develops and grows in your tooth’s structure when it’s infected with bacteria. Cavities are also the most widespread chronic disease among people in the United States, affecting over 90% of adults over the age of 60. Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, considers these numbers unacceptable, especially since cavities are highly preventable. For patients who fail to prevent the formation of tooth decay and cavities, Dr. Smith can restore the health and integrity of a decaying tooth, depending on how severe the cavity has become.

Acid Erosion

When dental plaque is ignored, or gets lucky by dodging your toothbrush and floss, it can calcify into tartar and become too stubborn for your toothbrush to remove. As plaque and tartar remain, the bacteria within it can consume sugar and other carbohydrates, then convert them into acid that they excrete onto the surface of your tooth enamel. When exposed to acid, your teeth are depleted of minerals, and the strong, protective layer surrounding your teeth grows weak. Usually, fluoride treatments and improved dental hygiene can reverse acid erosion before enamel is compromised or destroyed.  Dr. Smith can spot the signs of excessive acid erosion during your routine dental checkup and cleaning, and then prescribe appropriate treatment to reduce the risk of cavities forming from poor hygiene.

Cavity Formation

Unfortunately, acid erosion often goes unnoticed, and patients remain unaware of trouble until a cavity forms and their tooth begins to hurt. As bacteria find their way around compromised tooth enamel, they can invade the main body of your tooth, known as dentin. Softer and more vulnerable than enamel, dentin surrounds the nerves and blood vessels of your tooth (pulp), though it doesn’t offer the protection that enamel provides. Dr. Quinn can treat most mild to moderate cavities by removing the infected tooth structure, cleaning and sterilizing the cavity, and then filling it with an amalgam or composite resin dental filling. If the cavity is allowed to grow, the infection may reach the pulp and kill and nerves and blood vessels, and root canal therapy may be necessary to save the tooth and stop the spread of infection.

About Dr. Quinn Smith:

Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Park Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you’re a new or returning patient, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.