What Are Secondary Caries (Cavities), and Are You at Risk?
“Secondary Tooth Decay”… sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Secondary caries, otherwise known as recurrent caries (cavities) is tooth decay occurring underneath/surrounding existing dental restorations such as dental fillings, crowns or onlays.
These recurrent cavities can be a result of poor oral hygiene habits, or can be caused by a microscopic access or hole in the dental restoration, allowing acids and bacteria to creep in and wreak additional havoc. And unfortunately, these microscopic pathways cannot be cleaned using standard oral hygiene practices because they are so tiny and inaccessible.
Treating Secondary Caries
Once a secondary cavity has been detected by our Guelph dentist via radiographic (X-ray) evidence, or with a dental explorer (probe), laser or visual examination, then it’s crucial to proceed with treatment before the problem progresses even further. The secondary tooth decay must be removed and the current failed filling or restoration must be replaced.
Preventing Secondary Caries
Simply brushing twice daily (for two full minutes), as well as flossing once daily will help to keep your smile sufficiently clean, reducing your risk of secondary (and regular) tooth decay. Your diet is also more important than you may think – so try your best to keep your consumption of sugars/processed foods and drinks to a minimum.
Another important step in preventing secondary caries is to see your dentist and hygienist twice a year, or when required. This visit will involve a thorough cleaning from the hygienist to remove stubborn plaque from the surfaces of the teeth, as well as a check-up/examination by the dentist to ensure that your current filling(s)/restorations and everything else are in great shape!
With that said… has it been longer than you’d like to admit since you’ve last visited a dental professional? In that case, our friendly dental team would love to see you! Contact us to book an appointment at Dr. Coman Family Dentistry today.
Dr. Coman Dentistry
85 Norfolk Street, Suite 308
Guelph, ON N1H 4J4