Tooth Cavities Baltimore, MD

Dental caries, or tooth cavities, are common dental problems affecting children, adolescents, and adults. The most common cause of tooth decay and cavities in our office is plaque buildup. When plaque comes in contact with sugar and starch, it activates bacteria in plaque, thus causing it to attack and erode tooth enamel.

As the tooth enamel breaks down and wears away, the tooth is susceptible to cavities. Your dentist office in Baltimore, MD, offers many ways to treat dental cavities.

Dental Cavities in Baltimore MD

Treatment For Cavities at Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry

The treatment you will need depends on the severity of your tooth decay. We fix tooth cavities that we catch in the early stages of formation with a composite resin tooth-colored filling. This is a conservative treatment that is necessary to preserve the tooth. A white filling can prevent further tooth damage.

Our dentist may recommend a porcelain inlay, onlay, or dental crown for larger cavities. This will restore stability to the tooth structure after we remove significant decay.

If a tooth cavity has been left untreated, it may progress. This can infect the tooth’s root canal and can be very painful. Root canal therapy is the only way to remove the decay and save the tooth from extraction. In the most severe cases, we may need to extract the tooth if your dentist feels it is beyond saving.

The best dentistry is always preventive. Routine dental care can prevent tooth decay and cavity formation.

Symptoms of Cavities and Tooth Decay

Each person may experience different tooth cavity symptoms. There may be no symptoms in the early stages of tooth cavity formation. A dentist, however, is likely to see signs of early tooth decay and help to prevent the cavity from forming or getting worse.

As the tooth cavity gets larger, common symptoms include:

  • Toothaches and tooth pain
  • Pain when eating hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Visible holes in natural teeth
  • Inflammation or infection of gums around the tooth

When you notice a change in your teeth, contact our office. Early prevention will help prevent cavities from forming. If you have chronic tooth pain, you may have an infection.

How To Prevent Cavities

Preventing tooth decay starts at home with good oral hygiene habits. A good oral hygiene routine combined with routine dentist appointments is the only way to prevent cavities from forming and progressing.

Regular teeth cleanings by a trained dental hygienist are necessary to prevent decay in hard-to-reach places. You should have your teeth cleaned at least two times a year. During regular cleanings, we remove bacterial buildup from the teeth and gums. We also provide a mouth rinse and floss between each tooth. Finally, we polish the teeth.

Your daily oral hygiene habits should include brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a key mineral that prevents cavities from developing. This mineral strengthens the teeth and helps prevent cavity formation. You should also floss between your teeth and regularly use fluoride mouthwash.

A healthy and nutritious diet that limits sugar is also important. Drinking water daily can help increase saliva production and wash away bacteria that form cavities. Eating fruits and vegetables can help increase water intake and increase vitamins and minerals that strengthen your teeth.

Tooth Cavity: Common Dental Questions

Learn more about dental cavities with answers to these commonly asked patient questions:

Can cavities go away without fillings?

Cavities do not go away on their own. A cavity results from an infection that eats away at your enamel. Without a filling, the cavity will continue to spread. It can cause damage to the tooth and potentially the surrounding teeth. Your dentist must remove the infection and fill the void so it does not spread.

Can a vitamin deficiency cause cavities?

A lack of vitamin D can contribute to cavities. Being deficient in vitamin D can lead to weak tooth enamel and bones. Taking vitamin D supplements can help prevent cavities but is not the best solution. Nothing beats cavities like having excellent oral hygiene and routinely visiting the dentist.

Can I wait a month to fill a cavity?

It is okay to wait a month to fill a cavity. They spread over gradually, so a month is not too long to wait. However, do not wait until your tooth hurts to fix a cavity. If you wait too long, you may develop a severe infection and need a root canal.

What should you not do when you have a cavity?

When you have a cavity, you should avoid sugary foods and beverages. Sugars can cause extra bacteria to build up in your mouth. It can worsen the cavity and cause more tooth pain and discomfort.

How long do fillings last?

Several factors affect how long a filling lasts. This may include teeth grinding, oral hygiene, diet, and filling placement. Metal and white fillings may last anywhere from ten to fifteen years. Caring for fillings properly will increase their lifespan.

Do fillings weaken teeth?

In some cases, fillings may weaken teeth. Fillings that require the tooth’s natural shape to change may weaken the overall structure and function of the tooth. However, it is not common for fillings to drastically weaken a tooth’s structure.

If you have a large filling, we recommend a dental crown to cover and protect your tooth. A crown can fully cover your tooth and prevent further damage that affects the filling.

How many cavities are normal in a lifetime?

The average adult has about three to four fillings in their mouth. This varies per individual. However, some patients may have ten or more fillings throughout their lifetime.

Schedule A Dental Exam and Consultation

Cavities don’t just affect children – adult teeth are still prone to tooth decay. Contact our dentists in Baltimore, MD for a cavities and tooth decay screening, and find out what treatment options are available. We offer many treatments for a tooth cavity in Owings Mills, MD and the greater Baltimore area. Call us at (410) 697-6290. You can also schedule a dental appointment online.