Cavities, or tooth decay, occurs when tooth enamel wears away. If enough enamel wears away, the soft tissues and nerves within the tooth will be exposed. One of the first signs of a cavity is sensitivity to temperature and touch. Cavities and tooth decay may also affect our ability to chew properly. But what causes cavities, and how do we prevent them? Dr. Alla Brown and Dr. Amanda Newberry, dentists in Buford, GA, are passionate about patient health. Learn more about how cavities form, how they are treated, and how they can be prevented below.
How Cavities Form
Our mouths contain lots of bacteria needed to help break down the food we eat. Most of the bacteria are harmless to our teeth. However, bacteria particularly like sugary and starchy foods such as candy and chips. The more of these foods that we eat, the more bacteria are produced. As the bacteria break down the foods, they produce acids that bind to the plaque already in our mouths. Plaque hides between the teeth and gums and can be particularly difficult to clean with crooked or overcrowded teeth. As the acids bind to the plaque, they eat away at our enamel and form a cavity.
Treating and Preventing Cavities
The easiest and most efficient way to treat a cavity is with dental fillings. Our dentists use fillings to clean out the cavity and fill it in to reinforce the tooth enamel. Once the cavity is filled, the tooth decay process is stopped since the bacteria and acids can no longer invade that area. Depending on your situation, your dentist will work with you to decide the best course of action for your situation.
The best defense against cavities is good oral hygiene. Remember to brush your teeth after meals or at least twice a day. Be sure to use a toothpaste that has fluoride to remove plaque and whiten the teeth. Flossing between teeth is necessary to remove plaque and any food particles left.
Schedule an Appointment
Call (678) 359-4707 or request a consultation online. Schedule routine dental cleanings and contact our Buford dental office if you require a dental filling.