Did you know that 91% of Americans will have a cavity by the time they reach 20 years old? It’s true, dental cavities, a.k.a dental caries, are one of the most common dental issues. However, you can take steps to avoid dental caries and promote good oral hygiene, and we are going to help you understand how with this simple guide!
We are going to cover everything from the treatment of dental caries to how to prevent them from happening. So, before you land yourself in the dentist’s chair for a filling, read this blog!
Understanding Tooth Decay
Dental cavities don’t happen overnight; they begin with tooth decay. Your teeth are full of nerves that are surrounded by layers to protect them. Those layers consist of enamel, dentin, and pulp, which is the substance that houses the nerves.
Tooth decay begins with the demineralization of the tooth’s enamel, which is caused by overexposure to the acidic byproducts of bacteria interacting with starches and sugars in the mouth. As the demineralization continues, dental caries can form, penetrating into the enamel, dentin, and eventually all the way to the pulp of the tooth.
Catching Tooth Decay Early
Diet and proper oral hygiene are the number one factors in preventing dental cavities. During the first stage of tooth decay (demineralization), it is possible to stop the progression of the decay and prevent a cavity from forming. Prevention includes daily flossing, brushing, and regular exposure to fluoride, which can help strengthen the enamel of the teeth.
With that being said, some factors can be out of your control regarding the formation of dental caries. Some people have especially grooved teeth and unique anatomy that makes them prone to dental caries. Let’s take a look at the treatment of dental caries after they have formed.
The Treatment of Dental Caries
If dental caries form, there are several options for treatment depending on the severity of the cavity. The first option is called a filling. A dentist will remove any decay from the area for a filling and then fill the cavity with a composite or amalgam product.
Fillings are long-lasting and protect the tooth from the further progression of the cavity. In other cases, the cavity has progressed too deeply into the tooth, so a root canal is needed. The root canals treat cavities that have reached the dental pulp, and they are often used alongside crowns to protect the tooth.
Finally, if a cavity has reached a point where it can no longer be treated, extraction is needed. This is the last resort for a tooth and is generally only necessary if all other options have been exhausted.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
When it comes to the treatment of dental caries, the first step is always good oral hygiene. Your mouth is the gateway to your body, so practicing good oral health will help you maintain good health overall!
Whether you are concerned about dental cavities or you just want to get serious about your oral health, we are here to help! At Bloomfield Dental Designs, our dedicated team is committed to providing our patients with the absolute best care. So, visit our site and book an appointment today!