Your Hopedale dentist in IL will never get tired of reminding you to brush and floss your teeth and return to the office every six months for checkups and teeth cleaning. It may seem like a lot of work, but if you put in the effort, you will significantly lower your risk of getting cavities.
Cavities are damaged parts of your teeth. The sizes vary depending on the extent of the damage. The disease affects individuals of all ages and is one of the most common health issues in the world today. Luckily, cavities can be reversed.
What Can You Do to Stop Cavities From Worsening?
What Are Cavities?
Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are holes and pits that initially form on the outermost surface of your teeth. If left untreated, they will progressively grow deeper and larger over time. Tooth decay can be caused by a combination of factors such as dry mouth, old age, poor dental habits, lifestyle choices, and not receiving adequate fluoride.
How Do Cavities Develop?
The tooth decay process starts with plaque formation. The bacteria in plaque will start attacking your enamel. The destruction continues unless it’s treated.
- Plaque Formation – plaque is a clear biofilm that covers your teeth. It teems with bacteria. When you eat foods containing sugars and starches, the bacteria in your mouth will feed on them, resulting in plaque formation. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth, the plaque will eventually harden and turn into tartar. It’s impossible to remove tartar by brushing alone.
- Plaque Destroys Enamel – Plaque produces acids that slowly remove minerals from the enamel, causing permanent holes. As the enamel slowly wears down, the bacteria and the acids will attack the next layer, the dentin. Dentin is softer than enamel, making them less resistant to acid attacks.
- Continued Destruction – As the decay enlarges, the bacteria will attack the deep layers of your tooth until they reach the dental pulp, which houses your tooth’s blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. Over time, the bacteria will infect the pulp, causing irritation, swelling, and pain.
How Do Dentists Treat Cavities?
Unfortunately, cavities will continue to progress unless they are dealt with. The treatment will depend on the severity of the decay.
If the cavities have just started, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments. Dental offices typically offer fluoride treatments as part of preventive dental care. Professional fluoride treatments have more fluoride content compared to mouth rinses and toothpaste. It’s delivered via gel, foam, or liquid.
The standard treatment for cavities that have advanced beyond their early stages is fillings. In a filling procedure, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the site. The decayed portions of your tooth are removed. Once all the decay is eliminated, the space will be filled with a filling to restore your tooth’s strength, structure, and integrity.
Get Your Cavities Treated by a Trusted Hopedale Dentist in IL
The best ways to prevent cavities are to brush and floss daily and see your dentist for checkups and cleanings. Regular checkups are necessary to detect cavities and treat them while they’re still reversible. At Smalltown Dental, we offer affordable preventive and restorative dental treatments to improve your oral health. Contact us for an appointment.