Tooth decay creates small holes in your tooth which are known as cavities. For the most part, cavities occur in young children, but don’t be surprised if you get one as an adult, as they can happen to anyone. If you have recessed gums, for example, the roots of your teeth may be exposed. Roots have no protection from enamel and therefore are more susceptible to cavities. If you have old fillings, you are also more likely to develop cavities, as bacteria can build up underneath them. Getting your cavities checked out at Harmony Dental Care in Oshawa, ON is very important to your oral health.
Why do cavities happen?
Your saliva is great for removing most food residues from your mouth, but it can’t do everything, and sometimes sugar still sticks to your teeth. The sugar that’s not removed from brushing will turn into plaque. Plaque contains harmful bacteria that will slowly work on eating away your teeth’s enamel. This eventually will cause cavities.
How are cavities treated?
If the dentists at Harmony Dental Care catch a cavity early enough, it can be treated using a filling. Of course, cavities usually don’t show any symptoms in their early stages. That’s one reason why it’s so important to make sure you go to your regular check-ups and mouth cleanings. During the check-ups, your teeth will be checked out for cavities with a probe that looks for soft spots, and we also use x-rays to see between your teeth.
If you’ve started to notice a toothache, it might mean that your tooth has started to decay, and the cavity has become too large for a normal filling. At this point, the dentists at Harmony Dental Care will use an inlay, onlay, or crown to repair the tooth. All of these restorations come in tooth-colored material, so your restoration will look like the rest of your natural teeth.
How can I prevent cavities?
Having good oral hygiene is the most important step in preventing cavities. Make sure you are brushing your teeth twice a day and with fluoride toothpaste. You should also avoid having a lot of sugary foods and drinks. Make sure you’re attending your professional dental cleanings as well! If you are more susceptible to cavities, we can offer preventative measures such as fluoride treatment and dental sealants.