The Role of Fluoride in the Prevention of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a common ailment that many people have had to deal with at one time or another. Decay in the mouth is caused primarily by the infiltration of bacteria into the tooth enamel and dentin. The bacteria in your mouth become more active when the mouth is acidic and when sugar is present, basically, when you eat and drink. Your dentist may find a weak spot in one of your teeth that has not yet progressed into a cavity, and might recommend a fluoride treatment to help halt the decay process. If decay is allowed to progress, not only will a cavity form, but it could end up invading the nerve of the tooth and causing an abscess.
Our Atlanta dentists can perform an in-office fluoride treatment to assist in the prevention of tooth decay that can cause cavities. Our office uses a fluoride varnish, which is “painted” onto your teeth with a tiny brush. This varnish will penetrate your tooth enamel and enter the dentin, the soft portion of the tooth, where it will help not only strengthen it but also desensitize it so that you won’t feel pain with hot and cold foods or liquids. Fluoride varnish is available during your regular cleaning and examination visit, or when you visit the dentist for a problem-focused exam that involves a tooth in the early stages of decay.
How does fluoride help prevent tooth decay?
Fluoride hinders the breakdown of enamel in your teeth and stimulates the remineralization process. Fluoride works with the natural minerals present in your saliva to actually rebuild the enamel on your tooth surface. The fluoride binds to the materials in your enamel, and creates a strong, decay-resistant barrier that protects your teeth.
You can find fluoride not only at our Atlanta dental office, but also in fluoride toothpastes that you can purchase over the counter, in fluoridated drinking water, and also in mouth rinses specifically created to provide a source of fluoride. Your Atlanta dentist can even write you a prescription for a highly concentrated fluoride paste that you can use on a regular basis to prevent decay and minimize tooth sensitivity.
If you are concerned about tooth decay, and are interested in the benefits of a fluoride varnish, contact our Atlanta dentists today! We want to partner with you for better oral health!