All about Cavities!!

October 6, 2015

You’ve heard of them and more than likely, you’ve have one. A tooth cavity!

3d rendered illustration of tooth decay

Cavities are the dreaded, little holes in your teeth from tooth decay. When you drink or eat foods containing sugar and high-carbohydrates,  plaque,a sticky form of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth, forms in your mouth. The acids in plaque attack your tooth enamel, creating holes..called cavities!

Your dentist will find cavities during a regular dental exam. If you’ve had a cavity for a while, it may cause a toothache.

How are cavities treated? Your dentist will evaluate how bad the cavity is and plan treatment accordingly.

  • Fillings- Fillings are a hard material used to replace natural tooth lost due to decay. A dentist will remove the decay (bone that has become soft due to bacteria) and replace it with a composite material that will harden an fill in the missing tooth structure. It will then be shaped to fit your natural tooth and bite pattern.
  • Crowns- A dental crown, sometimes referred to as a cap, is used when a tooth has large amount of decay and is at risk of breaking. Once the dentist removes the decay from the tooth, there may not be enough good bone left to support the daily stresses of chewing, clenching or grinding. In order to prevent the tooth from breaking, and requiring removal, a crown is placed on top of the remainder of the natural tooth. Crowns are typically made of metal or porcelain. A crown will fill in the missing tooth structure so that remaining natural tooth is protected from the stresses of eating, clenching or grinding.
  • Root Canals- f the nerve becomes infected or exposed (due to decay or structural damage), it can be very painful. A root canal removes the nerve and fills the nerve cavity with composite material. While the removal of the nerve relieves the patient of pain, it also removes the life source of the tooth. A tooth that has a root canal done on it almost always needs a crown to be places as well to reinforce the strength of the tooth.

How can I prevent cavities?

  • Brush teeth twice a day
  • Floss!!
  • Eat nutritrous and balanced meals
  • Drink plenty of water and limit soda or sugary drinks
  • Visit your dentist regularly

Mortenson Family Dental is a part of Mortenson Dental Partners.

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