Cavities are the most common problems dentists see. Left untreated they lead to tooth decay, gum disease or even health problems. At Brite Dental, we care that you have healthy teeth and a healthy smile so we’ve put together a few tips about cavities and how to avoid or treat them.
What is a tooth cavity?
Tooth cavities simply mean holes in teeth. Our mouths are full of harmless bacteria but sometimes these attach themselves to the hard enamel surfaces of teeth and multiply rapidly. Once mixed with proteins in saliva, bacteria become the whitish plaque that we see around our teeth. If this isn’t removed the acid in it causes tooth decay, tooth cavities and gum disease as it dissolves your tooth enamel. Once tooth cavities have allowed bacteria access to the dentin inside your tooth, pain sets in and you will need a tooth filling to prevent further tooth decay or gum disease.
How can I avoid tooth cavities and gum disease?
Gentle, but thorough brushing of your teeth and gums twice a day is your first line of defence against developing a tooth cavity or gum disease. Use gentle back and forth movements, remembering to brush your tongue as well. Daily flossing adds an extra level of defence against developing a cavity, letting you remove food particles your toothbrush couldn’t reach. Finish your dental routine with an antibacterial mouthwash. Designed to fight bacteria they also leave you with fresh smelling breath. Limiting your intake of sweet food and drink is also very important as sugars react with the bacteria in plaque producing the harmful acids that lead to tooth cavities. If you do indulge in a treat remember to brush afterwards. Finally, regular check-ups at Brite dental enable our team to deal with small problems before you need a tooth filling or suffer more serious damage to your teeth and gums.
How does the Brite Group treat cavities?
There are four main stages to cavity treatment with the aim of dealing with it before further tooth decay and gum disease sets in. When a cavity first appears we offer advice on diet and a fluoride covering may be applied to the area. A tooth filling may be needed to remove the decay and the cavity left behind filled with a safe substance. Don’t worry, a tooth filling is always carried out under local anaesthetic. If your tooth cavities have spread into the pulp or centre of the tooth then this may need to be removed. This root canal treatment prevents further tooth decay and the risk of gum disease. If the damage is too severe for a tooth filling, then teeth may need to be removed. Our Brite team will advise on this and how missing teeth can be replaced with partial dentures, bridges or implants.
Remember regular check-ups at Brite Dental will ensure we get to problems before the pain starts, a tooth filling is needed or gum disease sets in. So what are you waiting for? Contact your local Brite Dental today and we can help you look after your smile.