Everyone is susceptible to cavities, but they can be prevented with a diligent home care regimen that includes regular brushing at least twice a day and flossing once per day.
When the food we eat interact with bacteria in our mouths, the result is a chemical reaction that produces acid. This acid can erode tooth enamel (the white part of the teeth that we can see). This causes the tooth to decay. Eventually, a small hole will form in the tooth’s enamel surface and this is a cavity. As it grows, it’s an open door to infection and further decay that weakens the tooth and leads to pain and tooth loss.
In addition to decay on the enamel crown of a tooth, here are two other places that are vulnerable…
- Root Cavity – Gum disease, or aggressive brushing, causes gums to recede, exposing the root and making it vulnerable to acid attacks. Root structure is softer than enamel so cavities can form easily.
- Recurrent decay – This is when a previously placed filling becomes compromised and the edges (or margins) of the filling or broken edges snag food and allow bacteria to seep underneath it. When this happens, decay reoccurs.
What’s the best way to prevent cavities? Good home care and see your dentist in Forest Hill at least twice a year for checkups and oral hygiene care. Brush for two minutes twice a day and floss once and eat a balanced diet.
As a dentist in Forest Hill at Brush Floss & Smile who practices preventive dentistry, we always monitor potential problem areas and catch and repair small cavities before they grow larger and cause more extensive and expensive damage.
What are some options for fillings?
There are a number of options for dental fillings, and together, we’ll choose what’s best for your unique situation:
- Tooth-colored composite fillings match your natural tooth-color and are used on teeth in your smile zone (those that are visible when you smile) and for molars.
- Silver-colored fillings (amalgam) have been used for years. Their popularity is waning as they are less attractive than tooth-colored composite. For some people, amalgam can also cause sensitivity when drinking or eating hot or cold foods as the fillings expand and contract when exposed to extreme temperatures.
- Cast-gold fillings are durable and, for some, make a personal statement. As you can imagine, gold fillings are on the top end of the expense scale.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Forest Hill for your family, we’d be very pleased to welcome you to our practice, check the condition of your fillings, and talk about what could help you smile more! Call us at 647-691-2213 to request your appointment today!