Don’t Wait for Pain to Fix a Cavity
The average person doesn’t spend long periods of time thinking about the health of their teeth. They may visit the dentist every year or so, but even then, they don’t give their teeth too much thought. Occupying far less space on their minds is whether or not they have a cavity.
I brush my teeth twice a day and floss at night, so what’s the big deal?
Cavities are a caused by bacterial acids in plaque that damage the tooth’s enamel. Your dentist can find them during checkups when the tooth’s surface feels softer than usual or can see them in an X-ray. In advanced stages of tooth decay, the tooth will be sensitive and pain can be felt when consuming anything hot, cold or sweet.
Treatment for tooth decay depends on severity. If the cavity is in the initial development stages, fluoride treatments are typically given to restore the tooth’s enamel and repair the early form of damage. These treatments contain more fluoride than what is found in a typical toothpaste or mouthwash and may be a liquid, gel, foam or varnish that’s brushed onto your teeth or placed in a small tray that fits over your teeth.
Cavities are often drilled to remove the tooth decay and are then filled with a material such as silver alloy, gold, porcelain or composite resin. These are used when the damage has become permanent.
Crowns are the answer for teeth that have been weakened from decay. A custom made covering is put on your tooth’s natural crown after the decayed part of your tooth has been drilled away.
When the decay reaches the inner layers of the tooth, the nerve or pulp, a root canal is needed. This is usually done when the nerve in the tooth dies from decay or when bacteria reaches the nerve and has caused an infection. The nerve of the tooth is then removed along with the decayed part of the tooth. A crown is typically needed after root canal treatment.
The earlier the diagnosis of tooth decay, the less pain is felt in both the tooth and the bank account. Worst-case scenario, the tooth will end up having to be removed because of the tooth decay.
Professional cleanings are important, as well as routine checkups with a doctor. Brushing and flossing every day helps to prevent cavities, as does drinking water between meals and limiting snacking.
Do you think you may have a cavity? Call us today at 407-614-5955 to schedule an appointment with a Windermere Dentist Today!