Skip to main content
(770) 796-7081 Contact Us
Cavities 101 Marietta, GA

Cavities 101

Not only is tooth decay a sign of poor oral health, it is sadly a very common health issue for both kids and adults. In fact, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, approximately 92 percent of adults in the United States from ages 20 to 64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth. Understanding exactly what a cavity is and how it is treated and prevented can help you keep your smile healthy.

What Exactly Is A Cavity?

The word cavity is synonymous with hole, and this is essentially what is happening on your tooth. Here’s what goes on – Bacteria in the mouth converts the food you eat (especially carbohydrates) that you didn’t brush, rinse, or floss away into acid. Together, these acids combine with remaining food and saliva to form plaque. This sticky substance is responsible for launching the process of tooth decay. Believe or not, plaque begins to buildup within 20 minutes after you eat! Plaque holds acid on your teeth, which slowly dissolves your tooth enamel and creates a hole, or cavity.

Cavity Treatment

Your dentist will treat your cavity based on the level or degree of decay. Catching a cavity at its earliest stages will obviously affect how invasive your treatment must be.

If the bacteria and acids cause only a small hole in your tooth, your dentist will most likely just remove the old portion of the tooth and replace it with a filling.
If your tooth decay is large or more extensive, you can expect to get a crown to restore your tooth.
Root Canal:
If your cavity reaches deeper into your tooth structure and affects the tooth pulp, it may become infected and require a root canal. This procedure involves removing the tooth’s pulp and nerve and then sealing off the roots.

Your Weapons Against Decay

To prevent plaque buildup, your fight should be two-fold. Not only should you adhere to a diligent brushing and flossing routine everyday, but you must also attend your routine professional dental cleanings. It is easy to let your six-month dental appointment become a yearly (or worse) attendance if you are not experiencing problems. However, it is important to remember that calculus (hardened plaque) can only be removed effectively with your dentist’s help. What steps can you take to ensure your smile stays free of decay?

Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Family Dentistry

Schedule an Appointment

We’d love to have you as part of our practice family.
Please call us at (770) 796-7081.

Our Client Reviews
Gilreath Family Dentistry

5.0 / 5.0

Based on 307 reviews


Dr. Gilreath is incredible with my kids. They love going to the dentist now! And this busy mom loves the warm neck wraps, the soft music and enjoying a latte while I relax!

Kenneth H.

Was lucky enough to find these guys when I got insurance that my old dentist did not take. Very professional and friendly staff! Office has the latest greatest technology as well. If you're looking for a new dentist, search no further!

Susie L.

Very personable and friendly, they took the time to go over my complex dental history and did not pressure me into anything. They gave their recommendations and priced out any options I had. Great group!

Camille Y.

Dr. Gilreath and his staff are top notch. I received the best cleaning I've ever had while watching my favorite show. The Doctor and his staff were all very polite, friendly, and courteous. They explained everything to me clearly and presented me with options in a gentle way that didn't make me feel pressured at all. It's obvious they really care about the wellbeing of their patients. The facility and equipment is really nice as well. I will definitely be back!

Juan R.

Always willing to work around my kids and my schedules. Today I had a long appointment. They started on time and always made sure I was comfortable and that the pain was managed so the procedure could’ve been completed without issues. Very courteous and professional staff.

Lucia B.

Awesome dental practice! The staff is friendly and efficient. Dr. Gilreath is thorough and versed in the latest technology and procedures. I love that he can make crowns in the office while you wait (so no walking around with a temporary crown for days or weeks). I would strongly recommend this dental practice!

Matthew W.

I've been going here for about a little over a year now. I've had a few cleanings, a filling, and started Invisiline so far. Hands down, the best run dental office I've ever been to. In the past at other dental offices I often had to wait 30 or more minutes beyond my appointment time before being seen. At Dr. Gilreath's office I've been seen on time every time. They seem to have systems in place to make every part of your visit run smoothly. From how they took x-rays, to billing and appointments, to the work done by the hygienist/dentist, everything seems to run like a well oiled machine. On top of that all the staff are all friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The office space itself is also quite nice. Very clean, well maintained, and seems very "up to date" with their equipment. If you're looking for a dentist and are anywhere in the northwest metro area I would highly recommend Dr. Gilreath.

Jhion R.

The staff is always so courteous and personable. They make us feel like family every time we have an appointment. Service is excellent, too. My wife recently went for a cleaning and Dr. Gilreath noticed a chip in one of her fillings. He knew we recently had another baby and that her time was very limited so he went ahead and did the filling right then and there, an extra thirty minutes tops. Dr. Gilreath is always looking at the big picture and really knows his stuff. We will never go anywhere else

Our Office

Gilreath Family Dentistry

200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060

Call to Schedule an Appointment:
(770) 796-7081

Gilreath Family Dentistry waiting room Marietta GA.