As the most common dental problem to affect both children and adults, dental caries are widespread and can result in major damage to the teeth. Highly preventable by consistent oral care habits, dental caries are often a result of improper brushing and neglected dental appointments. Explore these facts about one of the most common dental problems.
What Causes Cavities?
When sugars are left on the teeth, they attract bacteria which feeds on them and produces acids. These acids gradually erode the teeth, damaging the enamel and creating craters. These craters are known as cavities, and at their worst, they can greatly weaken the tooth and cause significant pain for the patient.
Advanced Stages of Dental Caries
As they’re left untreated, your cavities will deepen to the inner part of your tooth, eventually affecting the pulp. At this point, they may cause significant pain as all the living parts of the tooth are affected. If the body sends white blood cells to fight the cavity while it’s deep inside the tooth, it may ruin the tooth, and result in needing root canal therapy.
Tips for Preventing Cavities
While treating cavities can involve root canal therapy and other procedures, preventing them all together is by far the better option. By simply brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing once daily, you do everything necessary to prevent the development of cavities. The simple fact is, cavities need sugar left on the teeth to develop, so if you’re completely removing it each day, then there’s no foundation on which they can grow and spread.
Early Cavity Formation is Difficult to Detect
Although cavities eventually cause holes or craters to appear in the teeth, those aren’t necessarily obvious at first. In fact, early detection of cavities often requires a thorough dental exam and x-rays. This is another excellent reason why it’s vital to never skip a dental appointment– there may be a disease developing that only your dentist can catch.
Treating Cavities – Which Treatments are Used?
While deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth is the most standard and fundamental treatment for tooth decay and dental caries, other treatments may be used depending on their severity.
Fluoride is found in many of our toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even our tap water, but the potent fluoride treatment provided by our dental team is different. After treating the teeth with fluoride, they begin a demineralization process that is excellent for stopping the spreading of tooth decay.
Root Canal Therapy
When a cavity protrudes into the deep inner-part of your tooth, root canal therapy may be the only way to save it. This procedure involves removing the living pulp and nerves from the center of the tooth and resealing it. Typically, a crown will be placed over a tooth that has just had root canal therapy.
Treat Your Cavities Before they Spread and Become Worse
Like most dental problems, cavities start small and will quickly become worse over time. That means it’s vital to find them early, and the best way to do that is to attend your biannual dental appointments at Dentistry of Nashville. If we find cavities in your teeth, we’ll take the necessary steps to ensure that they’re eliminated quickly. Contact us today.