It may seem surprising but dental decay, also known as dental cavities, is the second most common disease in the U.S. Cavities are an actual bacterial infection of a tooth that can lead to pain, tooth loss, and even serious systemic complications with the heart and brain if left untreated. In addition, despite all of the advanced dental care and technology available we are seeing an increase in the rate of decay in both child and adult patients. This increase is largely due to the lifestyle and diet choice our modern lives involve. Acid foods and beverages, diets with frequent exposure to sugar and carbohydrates that break down to sugar, medication side effects, and busy schedules that interfere with a consistent daily hygiene routine are just a few reasons this disease is on the rise.
The American Dental Association (A.D.A) has a system which can clarify what level of risk an individual is at. This system is known as Caries Management by Risk Assessment or C.A.M.B.R.A. for short. At its core the system ranks patients the following way:
- Individuals with no cavities in the last three years are low risk
- Individuals with one or two cavities in the last three years are at moderate risk
- Individuals with three or more cavities in the last three years are at HIGH risk.
More specific details can come into play when determining someone’s cavity risk. The team at Schindler Dentistry is uniquely qualified to help you understand that risk. In addition, the A.D.A’s full assessment can be found HERE.
The best way to combat a risk is to first know what poses the risk so educated choices can be made to reduce it. Try completing the assessment for yourself and see at what risk level you fall. Those who fall in the moderate or high-risk category typically need additional tools such as prescription fluoride pastes, or gels to use at home. In addition, at Schindler Dentistry for all of our guests at risk for decay we provide a therapeutic dose of fluoride varnish at each dental hygiene visit. Finally, at Schindler Dentistry we also work with our guests to create custom home care programs to help reduce their risk level and stop the cycle of decay!