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cavities

What are cavities?

Cavities are a direct result of tooth decay, which can damage both the outer and inner layer of the tooth. Cavities can be due to a poor diet, bacteria within the mouth, or certain acids that may break down enamel. Typical signs of cavities include toothaches, as well as certain sensitivities to various foods or temperatures.

What you can do to prevent cavities?

One way to avoid getting cavities is to eat a more healthful diet. Foods such as breads, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cake, and candy tend to stay on the teeth. This is not beneficial for the teeth as the bacteria from these foods will eventually become acidic and begin dissolving the enamel on the tooth. This process creates holes within the teeth and leads to cavities. It is important to note that we all have healthy bacteria within the mouth that are actually helpful for maintaining optimal health. However, it is our job to remove the bad bacteria each day so that they cannot multiply or grow in numbers so that colonies do not form. This makes it imperative that you take proper preventative steps to prevent cavities from forming.

Who gets cavities?

Cavities can be an issue for people of all ages. Many people mistakenly think that only children get cavities; however this is not true. The composition within your mouth constantly changes as you age, and this process can also lead to the formation of cavities. In addition to these changes, the gums naturally tend to pull away from the teeth as we age. This exposes more of the root of the tooth to plaque, making the tooth more vulnerable to getting cavities. In addition, the condition and overall oral health of our teeth as children continue along with us as we age. This can sometimes be detrimental for older adults, as the amount of dental work needed tends to increase with older age, especially if you had tooth problems as a child. This makes pediatric dental care just as important as care during your adult years.

In order to determine if one has a cavity, a dentist will typically probe one’s teeth, examine the teeth visually, paying special attention to softer spots. We will also utilize X-ray technology in order to check between and inside the teeth.

Cavity prevention

In order to prevent cavities from occurring, there are many things that one can do. It is recommended that you brush twice a day with a toothpaste that includes fluoride. You can also talk with your dentist about utilizing supplemental fluoride, which is known to strengthen the teeth, as well as dental sealants to protect the surfaces of the back teeth. Also, one should clean between the teeth using a method such as flossing or an interdental cleaner. In addition, eating nutritious meals that do not contain too many sugary or sticky foods will help prevent cavities. One should also try to brush up and down in a circular motion as well as brushing the gums to keep them healthy. Lastly, one should schedule regular visits to the dentist in order to have their teeth professionally cleaned and examined.

Treatment of Cavities with Samaritan Dental Arts

Cavities can be treated by a dentist in various ways. The dentist can remove part of the tooth with a drill, or if the cavity is more severe, the dentist may have to treat the cavity by applying a filling. In the most severe cases, a crown may need to be used in order to cover the tooth. The crown will typically be made of gold, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal that covers the tooth. If the tooth is already decayed, the patient may need a emergency root canal. This is a more invasive procedure, as the dentist will need to remove the nerve, blood vessels and tissue along the decayed sections of the tooth. The tooth is then filled in with a sealant. In addition, one may need a crown to cover the filled tooth.

Many patients have concerns about mercury-based fillings and their association with the formation of amalgams. These concerns can be put at ease due to the American Dental Association as well as the FDA have spent much time and effort researching this correlation and confirming its safety. If you have been diagnosed with a cavity or have symptoms of cavities, contact the experts Samaritan Dental Arts today. Your smile is a reflection of your overall health, and it’s something you should be proud of.

  Dr. Alan Zabolian is a proud member of  
  • American Dental Association
  • California Dental Association logo
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Logo
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • Invisalign 2016 Preferred Provider