Cavities are small holes in your teeth that are caused by acid-secreting plaque that can damage your teeth.
If you avoid the dentist Gordon then a cavity can become larger and cause a lot of pain, sensitivity and discomfort.
By visiting the dentist on a regular basis you can prevent cavities from occurring in the first place and if you are affected by cavities then they can prevent them from getting larger.
There are billions of bacteria in the mouth, the majority of which are healthy bacteria. However, there are also plenty of bacteria that are harmful and have a negative impact on your teeth.
For example streptococcus mutans feeds off the sugars in the food that you eat. This bacteria is responsible for teeth staining, softening of the teeth and cavities.
Infection can be detected visually and in X-rays. you may be prescribed an antiseptic mouthwash to help treat an infection.
If left untreated the cavity can work through several layers of the teeth and result in tooth decay and irreversible damage.
It is important that you maintain good dental hygiene at home including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing after mealtimes to prevent such bacteria from lingering in your mouth.
Using a good mouthwash on a regular basis is also an excellent way of removing bacteria from the mouth.
Prevent cavities by visiting the dentist regularly
If cavities are small enough they can be reversed by your dentist. Your teeth are made up of three layers.
The hard enamel on the outside of your tooth is the first layer, the second layer is the dentine and finally you have the dental pulp which holds the nerves of your teeth. Cavities begin by attacking the enamel of your teeth.
They are able to target the vulnerable parts of the enamel such as in the grooves of your teeth.The enamel is resilient and it takes time for the cavity to reach the dentine.
Therefore, if you visit your dentist on a regular basis you can prevent irreversible damage to your teeth.
Your dentist can identify cavities early on using a visual examination of your teeth as well as X-rays to confirm how far the cavity has reached.
Treatment of cavities by the dentist
If the cavity has developed and reached the dentine then this will require treatment. The dentine is softer than the enamel, therefore the damage spreads quicker and you will require restorative dental treatment to save the tooth.
The dentist will decide whether your teeth need a filling or whether good dental hygiene can prevent the cavity from growing any further so that you can avoid drilling or invasive treatment of the tooth.
The treatment plan will depend on the size of the cavity and your personal preferences. Composite resin can be used to fill the holes created by cavities.
If the cavity is larger then you may need a crown to restore the tooth. This could be because the tooth has extensive damage or a very large hole.
If there is irreversible damage to the tooth then you may have to undergo a tooth extraction. Speak to your dentist today to find out more.
Disclaimer: All treatments carry risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.