Dr. Ed Lazer helps many patients at his Owings Mills, MD dentist office who have a tooth cavity. A tooth cavity (tooth decay or dental caries) is generally the result of plaque build-up and can affect anyone, regardless of age.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. When plaque comes in contact with sugar and starch, it causes bacteria to produce an acid that attacks and erodes tooth enamel. As the tooth enamel breaks down and wears away, the tooth becomes susceptible to the formation of dental cavities. Our dental office can remove plaque, tartar, and fill your tooth cavity in a single visit! Continue reading to learn more.
Symptoms of a Tooth Cavity
Depending on the location and severity of the tooth cavity, the symptoms may vary from patient to patient. Sometimes, there may be no symptoms at all and we discover the tooth cavity at your routine dental visit in our Owings Mills, MD dentist office. As the tooth cavity gets larger, the following symptoms may appear:
- Persistent toothache.
- Tooth sensitivity when exposing the tooth to hot, cold, or sweet foods.
- Pain when eating hot or cold foods and beverages.
- Visible holes or pits in the tooth.
- Pus around the tooth and gums.
- brown, black, or white staining on the surface of the tooth.
- Constant bad breath.
Treatment for a Tooth Cavity
Cosmetic and Advanced Dentistry, an Owings Mills, MD restorative dentistry office, offers a range of general dentistry services to treat any stage of a tooth cavity. The most common treatment we use to fix a cavity is cosmetic dental fillings. A cosmetic dental filling is a tooth-colored material that we use to treat teeth that have early stages of tooth decay.
This routine dental treatment will remove the decay and prevent the tooth from sustaining further damage. The procedure can be simple. Our dentist will first remove the decayed part of the tooth. Then he will clean the area and prepare it for the filling. Depending on the type of filling, our dentist may use a special drill to make sure the filling fits perfectly.
He will shape composite and porcelain fillings directly into the cavity, and then harden it with a curing light. Once the filling material is set, our dentist will shape and polish it so it’s even with the rest of the tooth.
Filling materials like silver amalgam and gold require some extra steps. For these types of fillings, the dentist must first place a binding material into the hole and then pack the filling material in.
For teeth with larger cavities, our dentists may recommend a type of porcelain restoration such as an inlay, onlay or dental crown. This type of restoration will add strength and restore stability to the decayed tooth.
Treatment for Extensive Damage
When tooth decay is left untreated for some time, it can cause serious damage and an infection may form in the root canal. This is evident if you are experiencing a toothache or severe pain. If this is the case, you may require a root canal treatment first.
Our dentists can provide root canal therapy to remove diseased tissue from inside the tooth, instantly providing relief. If your dentist determines that no treatment will save the tooth, we nay recommend extraction. Tooth extraction is a last resort, so we will make all efforts to save the natural tooth before we recommend an extraction.
How Do I Prevent a Tooth Cavity?
Good oral hygiene and routine dental care are the keys to minimizing your risk of tooth decay, and can provide the foundation for lifelong dental health. Our Owings Mills, MD dentist recommends the following to help you avoid a tooth cavity:
- Visit your dentist bi-annually for a checkup and a teeth cleaning.
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily, preferably after meals.
- Floss your teeth at least twice a day.
- Use interdental brushes or dental floss to remove food particles from teeth and gums.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
- Rinse with mouthwash to help prevent tooth decay.
- Clean your tongue to reduce bacteria.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
- Avoid frequent consumption of sugary snacks and drinks.
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals to promote salivation and help remove food particles.
- Use dental sealants to protect the cuspal areas of your back teeth.
Dr. Lazer and Dr. Doroshenko can provide dental sealants for all ages. A dental sealant is a thin, plastic-like coating that our dentist places on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where most cavities occur. This will act as a barrier, protecting the teeth from decay-causing bacteria and other damaging substances.
We recommend dental sealants for children and adults who are at high risk for cavities, such as those with a family history of tooth decay or who have deep grooves in their back molars. Receiving a sealant may help prevent cavities and reduce the need for costly fillings or extractions in the future.
Schedule A Dental Exam and Consultation
Cavities don’t just affect children, as adult teeth can get tooth decay. Contact our Baltimore dental office for a cavity and tooth decay screening to find out what treatment options are available to you. We offer many treatments for a tooth cavity in Owings Mills and Baltimore, Maryland. Call us at (410) 697-6290 or request a consultation online.