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Definition of EDUCATION: the action or process of educating or of being educated; also: a stage of such a process; b: the knowledge and development results. [1]

At Larrondo Dentistry of Hemet, California, every member of our staff is here to help patients understand what is required to maintain good oral health. We are committed to the education process, by providing our patients information and imparting knowledge about dental science that results in effective dental care.

Today, we would like to inform our readers about the importance of good dental hygiene, by providing information about dental caries and how to avoid them and maintain good oral health. You may be wondering what are dental caries? The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia provides the answer to this question.

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay or a cavity, is a disease where bacterial processes change carbohydrate like sugar in food left on teeth to acid that demineralises hard tooth structure (enamel, dentin, and cementum).[2]

If demineralisation exceeds saliva and other remineralisation like from fluoride, these tissues progressively break down, producing dental caries (cavities, holes in the teeth). Two groups of bacteria are responsible for initiating caries: Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus. If left untreated, the disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, infection, and, in severe cases, death.[3]

Dental caries is a disease that is found in people around throughout the world. The presentation of caries is highly variable; however, the risk factors and stages of development are similar. Initially, it may appear as a small chalky area that may eventually develop into a large cavitation. Sometimes caries may be directly visible; however other methods of detection such as radiographs are used for less visible areas of teeth and to judge the extent of destruction.

Dr. Jorge E. Larrondo and his hygiene staff advocate preventive and prophylactic measures, such as regular oral hygiene, including two yearly visits to Larrondo Dentistry to have your teeth cleaned and learn more about dietary modifications, to avoid dental caries.

Acquiring a personal hygiene care process that consists of proper brushing and flossing daily is necessary. The purpose of oral hygiene is to minimize any etiologic agents of disease in the mouth. The primary focus of brushing and flossing is to remove and prevent the formation of plaque. Plaque consists mostly of bacteria which you can help control.

For more information about dental caries and to learn more about how to properly brush and flossing techniques, contact Larrondo Dentistry by calling 951-925-6596 or stopping by the office which is located at 160 South Santa Fe Street, Hemet, California.

[1] www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/education
[2]Cavities/tooth decay, hosted on the Mayo Clinic website. Page accessed May 25, 2008.
[3] MedlinePlus Encyclopedia Dental Cavities