When harmful oral bacteria combines with sugar in an acidic environment, a cavity can develop. A cavity is simply a small hole in the tooth, caused by acidic biofilm. If left unchecked, this cavity will continue to expand or even spread to other teeth.
Do You Have A Cavity?
At first, a cavity is very small and hardly noticeable, except by a trained eye or x-rays. You may never know that you have a cavity until your dentist spots it, or when you notice a tooth is sensitive.
Benefits of Early Treatment
An untreated cavity will continue to grow, destroying more of your healthy tooth. If enough healthy tooth decays, it may be difficult or impossible to treat with a conventional dental filling. The harmful infection may eventually reach your tooth’s nerves, causing an abscess. In such cases, only a root canal and dental crown can restore the tooth. It’s best to treat a cavity while it is small, rather than waiting for it to develop into a more serious and costly dental concern.
Treating A Cavity
Your dentist will place a small filling in the area of your cavity. First, the infected tooth structure is removed, then the cavity is filled with a composite resin material that matches the color of your tooth. This prevents decay from spreading further, as well as restores your tooth to its original function and aesthetic quality.
Preventing Future Cavities
Thorough tooth brushing, twice daily, as well as flossing is recommended to keep your smile it’s healthiest. Consider using a fluoridated rinse each night to remineralize your enamel. Routine preventive dental appointments twice a year can help you avoid future cavities and maintain the best oral health possible.
Posted on behalf of:
Modern Family Dental Care
8505 Davis Lake Pkwy, Suite AB-3
Charlotte, NC 28269
Have you noticed a dark spot on one of your teeth? Could this be a cavity on your tooth? What exactly is a cavity?
A cavity forms when a tooth breaks down and decays. It creates a hole in the tooth that grows deeper and larger in time. Everyone has bacteria in their mouth and when a person eats foods with a lot of sugar, a sticky, slimy, and acidic substance called biofilm (plaque) forms from the bacteria and sugar. Biofilm sticks to the teeth and if not removed from brushing and flossing, a cavity can form.
Often times, cavities have no symptoms when they first form. If they begin to form on a visible tooth surface, they will initially look like a white or discolored spot and then if left to progress further, they will begin to break through all the layers of the tooth. At that point, you may start to have sensitivity to sweets, hot or cold foods and drinks, a bad taste in your mouth and/or bad breath.
If left untreated, the cavity could progress deeper to eventually destroy the tooth all the way down to the nerve. In these cases, you could have a very painful toothache. Sometimes, cavities form between your teeth and the only way to know you if have a cavity between your teeth is to go to your dentist regularly and have dental x-rays taken.
Your dentist can see if a cavity is forming between your teeth on the x-rays. Otherwise, those cavities can’t be seen by just looking in your mouth. So if you think you have a cavity, visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
Your teeth feel great, you’ve never had dental problems, but you show up for your dental cleaning and your dentist tells you that you have a cavity. As far as you are concerned, nothing feels wrong or even hurts. Why do you need to have the cavity filled in the first place? After all, can’t you just wait until it causes problems later on before you do anything about it?
No. Here’s why:
It’s Best to Treat Cavities When They are as Small as Possible
Finding tooth decay at its earliest stages means that repairing it will be less invasive to your tooth. It is best to place a very small filling on a tooth than to wait for the cavity to spread to the point where more tooth structure has to be removed.
Just Because it Doesn’t Hurt, Doesn’t Mean Nothing is Wrong
It’s not atypical for cavities to be asymptomatic. That is, the cavity may never hurt – even if it gets bigger. In fact, it’s not uncommon for dentists to see cracked and abscessed teeth in patients who are experiencing no pain at all. While pain is a red flag that should indicate the need for dental care, it isn’t always a symptom.
You’ll Save Money by Filling Your Tooth Sooner
Untreated tooth decay can evolve into a lesion that is too large for a simple filling to correct. What needs a filling today may turn out to be a tooth that needs a root canal tomorrow. On top of the root canal, you also need a crown. Your cost of care just multiplied, all because you avoided the filling when your dentist found a small cavity.
Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
What are cavities?
Cavities are holes in your teeth that have been caused by tooth decay. Cavities form because of bacteria and sugar in our diet. Bacteria combine with our food and salvia creating plaque that sticks our teeth. If these areas are missed over time holes are created in your teeth.
What factors put you at risk for cavities?
There are two main risk factors for cavities – dry mouth and genetics. If you have a low salvia creation then it will be harder to prevent plague from attaching to your teeth. Genetics affects your tooth size, shape, enamel, position, and bite.
What symptoms arise with cavities?
As a cavity arises you will notice an increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet. This isn’t always the case as sometimes the cavity is so small that it doesn’t have any symptoms. This is why it is important to have routine dental appointments to have your teeth evaluated by a dental professional. Dental X-rays can also find cavities deep within your teeth.
What is the treatment of cavities?
Cavities can be treated two ways depending on the size of them. If they are shallow and small they might be able to be treated with fluoride. Fluoride helps harden the enamel. The second way is through having the cavity filled with an amalgam or tooth colored filling. Either way, you will need to discuss your options with your dentist.
How can I prevent cavities in the future?
The best way to prevent cavities is to establish great oral hygiene habits. Those habits include brushing twice per day and flossing daily. It is also important to schedule routine dental check-ups with your dentist and teeth cleanings with your dental hygienist.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.
There are lots of old wives tales and even modern gossip about dealing with cavities. While some tales have some truth to them, there are several out there in mainstream culture that can cause more harm than good if you listen to them. Some of them are even prevalent on popular social networking sites like Pinterest, Facebook and frequently read weblogs.
Myth #1: You can heal a cavity on your own.
If you’re on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen one of the popular DIY pins that says you can heal a cavity all on your own, by practicing a strict dietary regimen, taking specific supplements and increasing specific vitamin consumption. This just isn’t true. While an area of demineralized (weak) tooth enamel can remineralize if given the chance to do so (through better oral hygiene, diet, and fluoride supplementation), a full-blown cavity made up of decayed tooth enamel is physically impossible to reverse. The diseased area must be removed and restored with an amalgam or composite dental filling before it expands into the nerve or adjacent teeth.
Myth #2: If the pain goes away, you don’t need to worry about it.
Different types of dental infections can have symptoms that come and go, but disease conditions like cavities, periodontal disease and abscesses will only continue to get worse if they are left untreated. Thankfully for some, like small children for instance, the pain may go away over a short period of time. However, there are still living, active bacteria inside of the surrounding tissues that are feeding the infection and need to be removed so that the condition doesn’t cause serious complications.
Myth #3: Only sugar causes cavities.
Nope! Any food, given the opportunity, can contribute to tooth decay. Acidic foods in particular can lower the pH of the mouth and feed bacteria, resulting in large amounts of plaque. The more frequently you consume food, the more acid and bacterial exposure you have to your teeth, which increase tooth decay!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel
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