Is There a Difference Between Cavities and Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay and cavities are often used synonymously, but the truth is that they describe two sides of the same coin. Tooth decay is a progressive condition that is largely caused by inadequate hygiene and dental care, and that leads to the formation of cavities in your teeth. Tooth decay affects over 90% of adults in the United States today. Therefore, to protect your smile from it, it’s important to know the difference between tooth decay and cavities, and how to prevent or treat them.

Why Plaque is a Threat to Your Oral Health

Though most people are familiar with the terms “plaque and tartar,” not everyone realizes why their dentist is so adamant about keeping them under control. Even if you know that you should brush and floss your teeth every day, you might not realize the consequences of skipping a routine once in a while. The truth is that, though a seemingly minor issue, plaque is one of the biggest and most consistent threats to your oral health. When not properly controlled, it can lead to serious dental problems and the need for extensive dental treatment.