What are Cavities?
Cavities occur when holes are formed in the teeth due to the erosion of enamel. Enamel is the tooth’s natural protection against cavities; a hard coating on the tooth. What causes enamel to erode is the attacking nature of plaque and bacteria, as well as an excess of acid. Once the enamel is worn down to the center of the tooth, bacteria gets into the hole, causing pain in the nerves the longer the cavity is left untreated.
What Causes Cavities?
Neglecting your dental hygiene will most definitely lead to cavities. Bacteria in your mouth is natural, but a lot more than is healthy can develop from food and drink residue, especially food and drink full of sugars. Acid from acidic foods can eat away at your enamel, but acid also comes from the build up of bacteria left behind by ostensibly non-acidic food and drink. This is essential to plaque formation, which is itself a form of bacteria.
Plaque and bacteria in general can be warded off by routine, and quite basic, dental hygiene. The best defense against cavities is to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Do not just brush the teeth that people can see, but instead be careful to pay just as much attention to the molars. As well, you should see your dentist twice a year for check-ups.
It's A Cavity
If you do develop a cavity, you may know before going to the Meridian dentist because it can cause toothaches. Always go to your dentist if you have tooth pain. However, if the cavity is nearer to the top of your tooth, the hole will not reach all the way to the flesh; in this case, you will feel no pain.
If your Meridian dentist tells you that you have a cavity, the standard course of action will be to drill away the cavity and its surrounding decay in the tooth and fill in the hole with suitable, strong material.
Types Of Fillings
Fillings come in a wide variety of materials, the most common being amalgam, which is composed of silver, tin, zinc, copper and mercury. Never put off a filling, as cavities will get worse. The flesh inside the teeth can get infected, leading to pus-filled abscesses that require longer, more painful procedures.
If you're having concerns about your teeth or want to learn more about how we manage your oral health feel free to schedule your appointment, call us at (208) 855-0080.
Boise Meridian Eagle Dentist | Castlebury Dental