Even with the best brushing and flossing habits and routine visits to our Cypress dental office, a cavity may still happen. Don’t feel embarrassed or guilty; it happens to the best of us!
If a cavity does happen, catching it early and treating it quickly will prevent a small issue from turning into a major problem. This is one of the reasons why we recommend regular visits for cleanings and examinations. They allow us to catch cavities when they are just starting out, which allows for more conservative, simpler procedures to solve the problem.
What Is a Cavity?
Your mouth is filled with microscopic bacteria. For the most part, these bacteria are harmless – as long as you keep sugary foods to a minimum and brush and floss regularly.
These bacteria thrive in a sugary environment and begin to rapidly multiply. If you don’t brush regularly, they’ll cling to your teeth in the mixture of saliva and food particles known as plaque. As they feed on the sugars in your mouth, they excrete an acid that damages your enamel. Eventually, this acid causes holes or pits to form in your teeth. These are cavities.
How Do We Treat Cavities?
If a cavity is very small, we may be able to treat it by improving your oral care routine and adding a fluoride rinse to remineralize the tooth. But after a certain point, we’ll need to remove the damaged tooth structure and fill in the hole with a material that prevents further damage.
Different materials are available for filling cavities. Amalgam is a material made up of a mixture of metals that has been in use for more than a hundred years. It’s effective and safe, but it does have one flaw – the metal has a silvery color when it’s first placed, and in time, it will darken to a deep gray. If you have a fairly large or deep cavity, amalgam filling can discolor the entire tooth.
Another material that we like for filling cavities – especially those located in the highly visible front teeth – is composite resin, a tooth-colored mixture of plastic and porcelain that blends in flawlessly with your enamel to fill the cavity and repair the tooth. Tooth-colored filling material is so effective and blends in so well that we can also use it to repair other cosmetic flaws in your tooth in a process known as dental bonding.
Do I Have a Cavity?
When cavities are small, you are unlikely to feel them at all. As they grow and eat away at more of your tooth, you may start experiencing sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweets. Eventually, your tooth will become seriously damaged and painful.
We don’t want you to be in pain, so it’s important that the cavity be addressed before it causes this level of damage. Once the tooth has been damaged to this extent, our only option to save it and relieve your pain may be root canal therapy.
Call Today to Schedule Your Check-Up
Is it time for your examination and cleaning? Are you maybe a little bit overdue? That’s okay! We’ll be happy to see you and help you get back on track. Call us today to schedule your appointment with Cypress dentist Dr. Devani.