A Guide To Treating and Preventing Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common issues when it comes to oral health. These tiny holes that form in teeth have many causes. If untreated, cavities can grow and cause serious issues like infection and tooth loss.

Thankfully, modern dentistry has come a long way. There are many ways to prevent cavities or treat cavities that have already formed.

What are cavities?

Cavities are permanently damaged areas in teeth which develop into small holes. Produced by advanced tooth decay, they destroy tooth structure and weaken the tooth.

Our mouths are full of bacteria. Those bacteria feed on carbohydrates, or foods containing sugars and starches. The bacteria produce acid as a byproduct of digestion. When these carbohydrates are left on the teeth, the bacteria are able to flourish and colonize. The acid grows and eventually dissolves the tooth enamel, creating holes called cavities.

Signs of a cavity can include:

  • Tooth pain
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Visible holes in teeth
  • Discoloration
  • A toothache when the cavity comes in contact with sugar

Early symptoms of a cavity can be mild to moderate, but some do not experience any symptoms at all. Be sure to always make time for your six-month cleaning and exam to spot any problem areas before they escalate. Know that cavities can also happen between teeth and may not be visible to the untrained eye.

Preventing cavities

Preventing tooth decay begins with an excellent oral health routine, as well as taking care of your overall health.

Rinse your mouth

Rinsing with water after meals can wash away food particles from teeth. After you eat, swish with water for a few seconds to rinse and dislodge any food that might be stuck between teeth.

Brush and floss

Brush once when you wake up and again before bedtime with a fluoride toothpaste (two minutes each session). Before your bedtime brushing, floss between all your teeth to clear away stubborn particles.

Regular dental cleanings and exams

Try as we might, we cannot keep our teeth as clean as a dentist can. Keeping up with professional cleanings and exams every six months can prevent cavities and ensure great oral health in the long run.

Diet

Avoid consuming sugary foods and beverages. Steer clear of pastries and soda. Instead, try eating nutritious foods rich in Vitamin C, potassium and calcium to support healthy teeth.

Treating cavities

Despite our best efforts, cavities can still appear. The best course of action when you suspect a cavity is to make an appointment with your dentist right away.

Catching a cavity early is crucial in saving your tooth, as untreated cavities can lead to infection and tooth loss. Advanced infections may need root canal therapy.

Fillings

A viable option for repairing tooth decay, fillings are a straightforward procedure. A cavity filling is when the dentist cleans and fills the hole to relieve pain and restore the appearance of the tooth. Fillings can be made up of materials like amalgams (metallic ingredients), composites (plastic) or ceramics. Amalgams are the cheapest and most used option.

Procedure

Your dentist will be able to identify the extent of the cavity through X-ray imaging. In order to make sure you are comfortable during the procedure, the dentist will likely apply local anesthesia to numb the area.

The dentist will then use tools to scrape off decay from the cavity. A dental drill is sometimes used for cases of advanced decay.

After the cavity is cleaned and prepped, the dentist will fill the cavity with material to seal the hole. Minor buffing and polishing is the final step to make the surface look more natural.

Request an appointment here: https://www.mytotaldentistry.com or call McCarthy Dentistry at (740) 546-5178 for an appointment in our Marietta office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

How A Cosmetic Dentist Can Correct Minor Issues

Few people realize how many common teeth issues can be addressed by a cosmetic dentist. Whether it is a feature of the appearance or trouble with biting and chewing, patients can find restorative and aesthetic treatments in cosmetic dentistry. This area of work focuses on improving an individual’s tooth aesthetics in regards to position, shape,…

What Is The Difference Between A Family And A Cosmetic Dentist

Are you aware of the differences between a family dentist and a cosmetic dentist? Though most patients visit a dentist twice a year, they may not be aware of a particular dentist’s training, education, or specialty areas.If a patient desires a cavity filling or preventive oral health care education because gum disease runs in the…

How A Cosmetic Dentist Places Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a type of prosthetic that can be placed by a cosmetic dentist to improve the shape, color, and overall appearance of a patient’s smile. Used for aesthetic and restorative purposes, veneers consist of a thin shell of porcelain or a different tooth-colored composite material that is attached to the front surface of…

What To Expect On Your First Visit To The Cosmetic Dentist

Like the first visit with a family or general dentist, the first visit with a cosmetic dentist is more of a get-to-know-you session. Cosmetic dentistry uses advanced and sometimes complex procedures to transform patients’ smiles. Because such procedures help to restore function and improve the teeth's overall appearance, there is a lot at stake for…

Recent Posts

How A Cosmetic Dentist Can Correct Minor Issues

How A Cosmetic Dentist Can Correct Minor Issues

Few people realize how many common teeth issues can be addressed by a cosmetic dentist. Whether it is a feature of the appearance or trouble with biting and chewing, patients can find restorative and aesthetic treatments in cosmetic dentistry. This area of work focuses on improving an individual’s tooth aesthetics in regards to position, shape,…

What Is The Difference Between A Family And A Cosmetic Dentist

What Is The Difference Between A Family And A Cosmetic Dentist

Are you aware of the differences between a family dentist and a cosmetic dentist? Though most patients visit a dentist twice a year, they may not be aware of a particular dentist’s training, education, or specialty areas.If a patient desires a cavity filling or preventive oral health care education because gum disease runs in the…