Dental Tips Blog


Why am I Told That I Need Another Filling at Every Dental Visit?

Posted in Fillings

Honestly, the best way to get an answer is to ask your dentist about it. Cavities are often discovered when your routine x-rays are taken. Perhaps you’ve notice that each new x-ray reveals yet another cavity.

What’s going on here? Contrary to the suspicions of some, most dentists are not looking to line their pockets by charging for unnecessary fillings. There are legitimate reasons why some folks have to chase after cavities more frequently than others.

How’s Your Health?

Certain health problems like diabetes are linked to a higher cavity risk. You might not be entirely in control of conditions that affect your body’s ability to fight off cavity-causing bacteria.

About Your Oral Hygiene

Be honest now: how hard are you working to actually prevent cavities?

Cavities most commonly form between teeth right at the spot where teeth touch. Flossing is the best way to access these space and disrupt the bacteria that can cause cavities. Brushing and rinsing also prevent bacteria-loaded dental plaque from accumulating on your teeth.

If you slack off frequently with your flossing and brushing, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that cavities continually develop.

Diet Makes a Difference

Simple carbs, processed foods, sugary drinks… basically all of the things we love to eat or drink are things cavity-causing bacteria thrive on as well. A diet rich in junk will only encourage plaque growth. Sugar is acidic and can wear down enamel, giving bacteria a head-start on destroying your teeth.

You probably have more control over your cavity risk than you realize. Your dentist will help you figure out a cavity-prevention plan that’s just right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Cane Bay Family Dentistry
1724 State Rd #4D
Summerville, SC 29483
(843) 376-4157


Where Do Cavities Come From?

Posted in Fillings

It’s just another ordinary morning. You’re brushing your teeth at the bathroom mirror. You open your mouth really wide to reach the back teeth when suddenly you see a dark spot on one of your teeth.

Many of us have had that moment of shock: is that dark stain a cavity?! Where do these small but annoying blemishes come from?

A Germy Situation

The first thing you should know is that tooth decay is caused by bacterial action. A specific kind of bacteria found in everybody’s mouth (S. mutans) produces an acid that erodes away tooth structure.

The process begins with demineralization of the tooth enamel. If the bacteria aren’t removed, they’ll only keep sizzling their way through the tooth until a cavity develops.

This cavity is a hole that the bacteria made. They get to hide in it while they continue breaking down the tooth. So, unless the bacteria-infected tooth material is removed, the destruction will only threaten the tooth even more.

“Then what does sugar have to do with it?”

You’ve heard that too much soda and candy causes cavities. That’s only partly true. Carbohydrates of almost any kind contribute to cavities because carbohydrates are what cavity-causing bacteria love to eat. The bacteria eat the same sugar you do!

Carbs in themselves can be quite acidic to teeth. Foods that have sugar or acid in them can get the cavity-process started by weakening tooth enamel.

Fighting Back!

Prevent cavities with:

  • A diet low in sweet drinks, sugary snacks, and processed foods
  • Great oral hygiene
  • Fluoride use

Visit your dentist to learn more about cavity prevention. And if he or she finds a cavity, get it filled before it gets bigger!

Posted on behalf of:
Definition Dental
12850 SW Canyon Rd
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 644-8900


How Do I Know When I Need a Filling?

Posted in Fillings

Cavities are tricky things – sometimes you’ll notice them, but many times you won’t. Being alert to the signs can help you to take action just in time. Properly preventing and treating cavities can help you to avoid some serious problems.

Possible Signs of a Cavity

If you have a cavity, some of the symptoms and signs you may experience include:

– Temperature sensitivity

– Sensitivity to sweet foods and drinks

– A Spot of dark stain on your tooth

– An ache in your mouth

– Fractured or cracked enamel

These signs will only show up when a cavity is advanced. The more a cavity grows, the more it compromises your tooth. The sooner you can have a filling placed, the better! But in its early stages, a cavity probably won’t bother you at all. You likely won’t even notice it.

What can you do?

The Best Way to Find Out

Because cavities start out small, painless, and virtually invisible, you’ll need the help of special technology to detect them. Dental offices are equipped with bright lights, dental explorers, x-ray machines, and cavity-detecting lasers. These tools are all used to identify spots where a cavity is starting. Visiting your dentist is the only way you can be absolutely sure of whether or not you have one.

Avoid Getting a Dental Filling

Regular brushing and daily flossing will limit the effects of cavity-causing bacteria. When you visit the dentist on a regular basis, a professional examination can reveal cavities before you experience any discomfort. Professional fluoride treatments and sealants could help you to lower your risk of getting a cavity at all. With a little prevention, you can avoid having many dental fillings done!

Posted on behalf of:
Gordon Dental of Leawood
11401 Nall Ave #102
Leawood, KS 66211
(913) 649-5017


Decay Detection Technology

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Laser cavity detection uses state of the art light and sound wave technology to identify tooth decay earlier on than has ever been possible. Traditionally, decay in tooth enamel has only been able to be diagnosed through visual, tactile and radiographic inspection. Even when decay is diagnosed early on, these methods do not catch tooth decay as early as the technology that is used in laser decay detection. In fact, x-rays only show tooth decay that has already prominently developed inside of the tooth enamel and cannot show smaller areas of decay until they have progressed to a certain point.

By using laser technology, cavities can be treated in a less invasive, less expensive, and more comfortable manner that preserves as much natural tooth structure as feasibly possible. In some cases a dental filling may not even be needed, but rather simple air abrasion followed by a protective sealant placed over the weakening area.

Devices like the DIAGNOdent provide 90% accuracy in identifying weakened tooth enamel deep within natural grooves of the teeth long before an x-ray or instrumentation can. It works by light and sound waves being emitted into the tooth through the high tech hand piece. Feedback is reflected back into the machine, which determine how weak the suspected tooth enamel actually is. This reading is displayed as a number on the device that ranks the density of the area against healthy tooth enamel on other teeth in the same patient.

The ADA and FDA have both approved laser decay detection as an effective screening method for dentists to provide their patients with minimally invasive, early dental care. Ask your dentist or hygienist about laser cavity detection for you and your child to help you catch decay before it’s even visible.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts



What Causes Cavities?

Posted in Fillings

Tooth decay or cavities are caused by acids that erode the surface of the tooth.  Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth build up and form a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque tends to collect in cracks, pits or grooves in the teeth, around the gum line, and between the teeth.

Some of these bacteria create acids that eat at the enamel of the teeth and form tiny pits.  These pits grow over time and eventually cause the entire tooth to decay and fall out if left untreated.  Cavities often have no symptoms, but in some cases they cause sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks.

Daily brushing and flossing will reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth as will regular dental checkups and cleanings.  Fluoride strengthens teeth and helps prevent cavities from forming.  In addition, sealants can be applied to permanent teeth to provide additional protection.

Cavities are treated by removing the decayed material and filling the cavity.  Dental fillings can be amalgam (silver colored), gold, or composite resins.  Composite resins are tooth colored so they are particularly appropriate for front teeth where the appearance is more important.  If the damage is too extensive or the tooth is too weak to hold a filling, you dentist may protect the tooth with a crown.

If the tooth is damaged internally or if the tooth pulp is infected, you may be referred to an endodontist for a root canal.  Then a protective crown will be placed by your dentist.

Cavities that are detected and repaired early have the best prognosis.  A small cavity that has been filled by your dentist may last a lifetime.  Since small cavities usually have no symptoms, regular dental checkups are very important for finding and treating cavities.

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