Dental caries, or tooth cavities, are an unfortunate dental problem that affects children and adolescents as well as adults. The most common cause of tooth decay and cavities that we see 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, it leaves the tooth susceptible to the formation of cavities.
Treatment For Cavities at Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry
Your dentist office in Baltimore, MD offers many ways to treat dental cavities. The treatment you will need depends on how severe the decay is. 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, and prevent it from experiencing further damage.
For larger cavities, our dentist may recommend a porcelain inlay, onlay, or dental crown. 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 cause a painful infection. 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 intercept problems to prevent tooth decay and cavity formation.
Tooth Decay And Cavity Symptoms
Each person may experience different tooth cavity symptoms. In the early stages of tooth cavity formation, there may be no symptoms. 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:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when eating hot or cold foods and beverages
- Visible holes in natural teeth
- Inflammation or infection of gums around the tooth
How To Prevent Cavities
Preventing tooth decay starts at home with good oral hygiene habits. Having a good oral hygiene routine in combination with routine dentist appointments is the only way to prevent cavities from forming and progressing. To prevent decay in hard to reach places, regular teeth cleanings by a trained dental hygienist are necessary. You should have your teeth cleaned at least two times a year.
Your daily oral hygiene habits should include brushing your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride, a key mineral that prevents cavities from developing. You should also floss in between your teeth and use a mouthwash that also contains fluoride regularly. A healthy and notorious diet that limits sugar is also important.
Tooth Cavity: Common Dental Questions
Can cavities go away without fillings?
Cavities do not go away on their own. A cavity is the result of an infection that eats away at your enamel. Without a filling the cavity will continue to spread and cause damage to the tooth, and potentially the surrounding teeth. Your dentist must remove the infection and fill the void so that it does not spread.
Can vitamin deficiency cause cavities?
Vitamin deficiency can cause cavities. Being deficient in vitamin D can lead to weak tooth enamel and bones. Taking a supplement of vitamin D can help prevent cavities, but it 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 a gradual time so a month is not too long to wait. Do not wait until your tooth hurts to fix a cavity. You may develop a severe infection.
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, worsening the cavity and causing more tooth pain and discomfort.
How long do fillings last?
There are a number of factors that affect how long a filling lasts. This may include teeth grinding, oral hygiene, diet, and placement. Metal fillings may last anywhere from 10-15 years.
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 uncommon for fillings to drastically weaken a tooth’s structure.
How many cavities is normal in a lifetime?
The average adult has about three to four fillings in their mouth. This varies per individual, and some patients may have ten or more fillings throughout their lifetime.
Schedule A Dental Exam & Consultation
Cavities don’t just affect children – adult teeth are still susceptible to tooth decay. Contact our dentists in Baltimore, MD for a cavities and tooth decay screening, and find out what treatment options are available to you. We offer many treatments for a tooth cavity in Owings Mills, MD and the greater Baltimore area. Call us at (410) 697-6290 or request an appointment online.