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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Understanding Tooth DecayEn qu© consiste la caries dental

Understanding Tooth Decay

Plaque is a sticky coating of bacteria and other substances that forms on your teeth and gums. It can cause two serious problems: tooth decay and gum disease. These problems damage the teeth and gums, and may even lead to tooth loss. When the mouth is well cared for, tooth decay and gum disease can be reversed in their early stages. Better yet, you can prevent these problems from starting by brushing and flossing daily.

Once tooth decay eats through the enamel, it spreads quickly through the softer dentin.

After tooth decay is removed, the hole is filled with a hard material.

How Tooth Decay Develops

Tooth decay happens when acid eats away at a tooth. Cavities (also called caries) are holes that form in the teeth. They are most common in places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. This includes the grooves at the tops of the teeth, and on the sides where the teeth touch. In late stages, tooth decay can be painful. It can also lead to tooth loss.

Treating Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can be treated to keep it from moving farther into the tooth. This is often done by filling cavities. First, any tooth decay is removed. This protects the tooth from further damage. Then, the cavity is filled with a hard material. This filling protects the damaged tooth and restores the tooth surface. If the tooth is severely damaged by decay, other treatments are available.

Follow-up Visits

Visit your dental team at least every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning. If you're being treated for tooth decay or gum disease, you may need more frequent visits. These visits will likely decrease as your mouth care efforts start to pay off. Keep flossing and brushing, and follow any special instructions your dentist or dental hygienist gives you. And enjoy flashing your healthy smile!

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Comprehensive, experienced dentistry care aimed at achieving exceptional outcomes awaits you at University Family Dental. Schedule your visit at 575.521.0127. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment.

Meet Your Dental Team

Comfortable, relaxed and pampering dental care awaits you at University Family Dental. Since 2006, we have served the Las Cruces, NM area and its nearby communities. Our highly skilled and experienced dental professionals are known for their affable personality and great chairside manners. Look to them for a unique, personalized dental care that promises splendid results.

Our patients say it best...

  • I was greeted by a friendly face immediately and was seen 2 minutes after I walked through the door. The staff is extremely professional, and always makes sure you're comfortable, including offering hand treatments with every cleaning. I would never go anywhere else for my dental services and surprisingly enough, I look forward to my visits at University Family Dental.

    -Antonio L.

  • I'd like to think Dr Martin and her wonderful staff they were delightful and very warm and the atmosphere was beautiful considering it's Christmas I really appreciate that it was so so spirited thank you guys for being such a great stuff I look forward to seeing you again Happy holidays to all.

    -Rachel S.

  • My experience with them was very pleasant. They were very professional and friendly and honest. They explain everything very well and I would definitely recommend them to all my friends and family.

    -Patsy R.

  • I have had dental and gum problems for years. At last I found a dentist who stopped the pain, gave me a "bite", a smile and great whitening solution for my teeth. Wonderful dentist and staff! Thankful I found Dr. Kim and her crew! Plus, they have a wax treatment for your hands!!!! It's like a dental spa!

    -Karen D.

  • Great staff, awesome service and always with a big smile....

    -Johnny G.

  • Very friendly fun and professional all wrapped up in one

    -Susie C.

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