One of the most common dental issues that people have besides gum disease are cavities. Most people will get at least one cavity at some point in their life and many have more than one by their early twenties. Yet, because cavities are such a common problem, this also means that fillings are one of the most standard procedures done at a dental office and better treatments are being developed all the time.
What is a Cavity?
A cavity is a form of tooth decay that causes permanent damage to the hard surface of your tooth. They develop when the bad bacteria in your mouth settles on the tooth surface and begins to grow. Then, when it mixes with other bacteria in your mouth and your saliva it becomes plaque. When plaque is not removed regularly it can eat into your teeth and cause cavities.
If left untreated, cavities can cause more extensive damage to your tooth and lead to infections and tooth loss. There are many symptoms associated with cavities such as toothaches, extreme sensitivity, severe discoloration, and pain when you chew. Dentists can catch early signs of a cavity before they lead to more tooth decay and put in a filling to prevent cavities from worsening.
When your dentist sees that you are beginning to get a cavity, they will recommend a filling. First your dentist will remove all the decay and infection from inside your tooth. After your tooth is clean and free of decay, a composite resin will be used to fill in the eroded parts of your tooth. This is normally done with a tooth colored resin so that the filling is not obvious and unsightly. If there is more extensive damage, your dentist may recommend a crown which is a thin tooth colored cap that is bonded to the tooth underneath. Crowns will still be functional and blend in with the rest of your teeth.
The best way to prevent cavities is by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash daily. Also make sure to see your dentist at least once every six months so they can do professional cleaning to remove excess plaque. If you live in the High Point, NC area and have been having tooth pain or have more questions on cavities and our dental procedures, please contact Deep River Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today!