Teeth: We should really appreciate them more. Our teeth help us eat which nourishes our bodies and helps us grow up healthy and strong. We also show them when we smile which helps us make a good first impression on new people that we meet. We all grow two sets of the teeth in our lives: our baby teeth and our adult teeth. Once your adult teeth have all grown in, usually by twelve or thirteen, it’s crucial to take good care of them as you won’t be getting anymore naturally. The biggest threat to a lifetime with all your teeth intact are cavities.
What Is A Cavity?
Tooth cavities form when spots of tooth decay have weakened and broken open our tooth enamel, exposing the sensitive nerves and soft tissues inside to bacteria. These bacteria can cause infections inside your teeth which can spread down into your gums. The exposed nerves can also create sensitivity to temperature and touch and can even make chewing properly difficult. This pain can limit dietary options, keeping you from getting the nutrients you need. Cavities are the most frequently diagnosed ailment that people suffer from after the common cold.
But what causes this threat to healthy teeth? What can we do to fix them? And how can we prevent them in the first place so we don’t have to fix them? The dentists of Lanier Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Buford, GA have the answers.
How Do Cavities Form?
Bacteria, most of which is relatively harmless in limited amounts, thrive in our mouths without proper dental hygiene. When food particles and saliva combine to form plaque, bacteria begin to live in that plaque, consuming the particles of food. They tend to get out control in places in our mouth that are hard for us to clean such as in between teeth and right at the gum line. The bacteria in our mouths break down sugars and starches and the acids produced in this process bind to the plaque already on our teeth and eat away at our enamel.
How Are Cavities Treated?
Once a cavities has formed, it is usually treated by your dentist with a dental filling in which your dentist reinforces the holes or weakened areas in tooth enamel with various substances. This halts the tooth decay and blocks bacteria, denying it access to the exposed part of the tooth. Your dentist can create fillings from composite resin, amalgamated metals, gold, silver or glass ionomer. Your Lanier Family dentist will consult with you to decide which route would work best for your teeth.
It’s often much simpler to prevent something from happening then fix it once it has broken. It’s the same with cavities. Brushing after meals or at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste is recommended by dentists to remove the plaque and prevent tooth decay. Dentists also recommend cutting down on sugary and starchy foods and keeping yourself properly hydrated since a dry mouth can accelerate the acidic breakdown of your teeth.
Daily flossing helps clear away the plaque and prevent cavities from forming in those hard to reach spaces between your teeth. Regular check-ups and cleanings at your dental office are the most important part of preventing cavities.
For those patients in Buford, GA area, call 678-359-4707 or schedule an appointment online to consult with your Lanier Family Dentistry dentist. If you think you may be suffering from cavity or would just like a cleaning to prevent them, contact us today!