Corrective procedures for dental decay range from simple at home mouth rinses to oral surgery or the extraction of teeth and bone. The solution depends upon at what stage the decay is first detected and the length of time the decay went untreated. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, the single most important prevention of gum disease is to see your dentist on a regular basis. Getting a professional cleaning every six months allows your dentist to detect and treat both tooth and gum decay before it's too late. Your dentist may simply recommend a mouth rinse, which may be either medicated or non-medicated, and may or may not contain fluoride which is an aid in fighting plaque. Small cavities, pockets of decay on the surface of your teeth, can be filled easily and painlessly. The damaged portion of the tooth is removed and a composite material is put in its place. Large cavities inside the internal structure of your tooth may require root canal surgery. The center of the tooth is removed along with any decayed portions of the tooth. The cavity that's created is then filled and repaired and a gold or porcelain crown is placed over the tooth. Extraction, also know as removing a tooth, is necessary if the decay is beyond repair or control. Modern methods make extraction a painless procedure with only minor discomfort after surgery. Depending upon the location of the tooth being extracted, your dentist may insert a bridge, an implant, or if the tooth is in the very back of your mouth, no additional dental work may be needed. ?