Sooner or later, most people are going to have some tooth decay. This will eventually become a cavity that will need to be filled or treated. Cavities should be taken care of early in order to prevent more costly repairs.
The Cause of Cavities
Cavities are caused by bacteria that are naturally found in your mouth. There are more than 500 different kinds in your mouth, and some of them produce acid when they come in contact with sugar or carbohydrates. The more sugar you eat, the more acid there will be forming in your mouth. Some drinks, such as soda, fruit juice, and special coffees not only have loads of sugar in them, but they also have acid. The additional acid and sugar mean that cavities will be produced that much faster.
When cavities are small, a dental filling is usually all that is needed. Putting in a filling requires first drilling out the tooth decayand then closing the hole with filling material. Patients can select different kinds of fillings. Mercury amalgams are the most common and the least expensive. Another popular option is to get tooth-colored fillings, which are about the same color as your teeth. Other options include gold and combinations of various other metals.
Severe Tooth Problems
When a tooth becomes severely decayed in the top portion – the crown, different types of dental work will be needed. A new crown may be needed if there is not enough tooth left after the decay has been removed.
If decay has set in because of a crack in the tooth, or a chip is missing, a root canal may be necessary. This procedure removes the infection in the tooth and the decay and kills the nerve. Then it is filled and closed, and a new crown may be put on.
In extreme cases, the tooth may not be able to be saved. When that is the case, the dentist may need to extract the tooth. In its place, the dentist can put in either a bridge or a dental implant. When a cavity starts, the treatment is mild and not very costly; but if not treated soon, treatment can become more extensive and costly.
Cavities in Children
Children will often get a cavity or two. Baby teeth may also need to be filled because a cavity can cause pain. Repairing the tooth and keeping it in place can help the new teeth come in straight, and it can also help the child become familiar with the dentist so that they will not be afraid of regular dental care. If a child is apt to be more prone to cavities, the dentist can help prevent them with a fluoride sealant.
Tips for Preventing Cavities
Cavities can usually be prevented by good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing can help keep harmful bacteria off your teeth. Cutting back on sugar will also help keep your teeth looking good.
Over time, tooth decaycan be expected. Dentists at Global Family Dental can help keep your teeth healthy by providing fillings and other dental care when needed. Our friendly dentists treat patients of all ages.