Tooth Decay Explained by Your Rochester Dentist

Did you know that roughly 99% of people will have at least one cavity in their lifetime? While oral hygiene is certainly necessary to help prevent tooth decay, dental caries are actually considered an infectious disease by the Center for Disease Control.  During childhood, a particular strain of cavity-causing bacteria is transferred from adults to infants called streptococci mutans. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and our team at Calcagno Cosmetic & Family Dentistry explain how cavities form, offer tips for cavity prevention, and discuss the importance of advanced technology in detecting dental caries.

How do cavities form?

Standing between the sensitive inner structures of your teeth and the cavity-forming strain of bacteria, streptococci mutans, is your tooth enamel. Composed of very strong minerals, your tooth enamel protects your teeth from cavities. However, acid and wear on your teeth can strip enamel of its strength over time. If your tooth enamel is compromised by erosion, the dentin and other soft structures of your teeth are vulnerable to decay. Once your tooth enamel is damaged, bacteria will feed off the soft structures of your teeth and form cavities. Extensive decay can ultimately reach the nerves and pulp inside your tooth. Extensive infection and decay may result in the need for endodontic treatment, restorations such as crowns, or even extractions.

How are cavities detected?

At Calcagno Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, our team utilizes state of the art technology to detect cavities in their earliest stages. By addressing cavities early on, Dr. Calcagno can restore teeth before bacteria compromise the internal structures. Using DIAGNOdent technology, a diode laser that illuminates areas of decay, dental caries can be revealed in their early stages with regular oral examinations.

How is tooth decay addressed?

For small areas of decay, Dr. Calcagno will restore tooth health with fillings made from composite resin, which seamlessly blend with the color of your natural teeth. For extensive decay, Dr. Calcagno can restore teeth with crowns, onlays, and inlays made from a variety of materials.

To schedule an appointment at our Rochester dentist office, contact Calcagno Cosmetic & Family Dentistry at (507) 281-3659. We serve patients from Red Wing, Hastings, Farmington, St. Charles, and the neighboring Rochester communities.