Tooth decay leads to small holes in your teeth called cavities. Although cavities are most common in young children, they can happen to anyone. For instance, if you have recessed gums (a cause of gum disease), the roots of your teeth may be exposed. These roots have no enamel protection, making them extra vulnerable to cavities. Adults who have old fillings are also particularly susceptible, as bacteria can build up underneath these fillings.
Why Do Cavities Occur?
Although your saliva helps to remove food residues, some sugars stick to your teeth. If you fail to remove this sugar, it turns into plaque. This plaque contains bacteria, which slowly eats away the enamel on your teeth. Over time, this leads to cavities.
How We Treat Cavities
If we catch a cavity early, we treat it with a filling. Unfortunately, cavities rarely exhibit any symptoms in the early stages, which is one reason why it is so important to receive regular checkups. During checkups, we examine your teeth for cavities by probing your teeth to look for soft spots and use X-rays to see between your teeth.
When tooth decay progresses, it can lead to symptoms, such as toothache. At this stage, it is common for cavities to be too large for fillings. Instead, we need to use an inlay, onlay, or crown, according to the extent of the damage. All these types of restorations can come in tooth-coloured material, making them unnoticeable from your natural tooth.
You can prevent cavities with good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cut down on sugary foods, and receive regular professional cleanings. If you are at higher risk for cavities, we can offer preventive care like fluoride treatment and dental sealants.