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When it comes to a healthy smile, you want to do everything in your power to avoid tooth decay from developing cavities and damaging your teeth. This is a result of oral bacteria feeding on sugary foods to create acids. As the acid mixes with bacteria, food particles, and saliva, it forms the sticky film known as plaque.

Plaque attacks and wears down tooth enamel, allowing tiny openings in the enamel for decay to reach the dentin layer beneath the enamel. Eventually, plaque can penetrate into the inner layer of the tooth–the tooth pulp. Unless this progression is halted, the bone supporting the tooth will also be impacted. As this decay progresses, your body will react by sending out white blood cells to fight it. The result? An infection or abscess requiring a root canal.

Daily oral care (brushing and flossing) will help keep plaque at a minimum. But your regular dental cleanings and checkups keep cavities at bay and allow us to spot cavities in the early stages.

But what if you notice the following in your smile?

  • A dark area on a tooth.
  • Sensitivity to hot/cold foods and drinks.
  • Pain when chewing food or biting down.
  • Sensitivity when inhaling cold air through the mouth.
  • A lost dental filling.
  • Sensitivity when eating sticky, sweet, or sour foods.
  • Sharp or throbbing pain emanating from a tooth.
  • A fracture or chip in a tooth.

Any of the above signs may indicate that you are indeed developing a cavity. Dr. Kevin Oakes treats tooth decay by removing the decay and filling the hole with a dental material. The most common dental fillings today are amalgam and composite resin providing a stable restoration of your tooth’s function.

If you think you have a cavity, or need a dental cleaning, please reach out to our Dental Arts of Frederick team in Frederick, Maryland at 301-663-5552 today. We look forward to helping you keep your smile cavity free!