Cavities nowadays are becoming more common than not. We try to avoid them but with a high sugar enriched diet and poor dental hygiene we are bound to get them from time to time.
But are all cavities created equal and how can you avoid the more common ones? These things are good to know, mainly for treatment, but also for when you should make your way to the dentist for a thorough clean and checkup.
First, let’s talk about how they are created.
Cavities are formed from excessive plaque buildup on an area of the tooth. The acid from plaque creates holes in the enamel (the thin coating layer on the tooth) and then in the tooth itself. Bacteria then forms in the tooth too and eats away at the tooth core (dentine) causing what is known as a cavity. A dentist has to first, clean out the affected area thoroughly and make sure no more bacteria is present, then fill the tooth with a filling made of either silver alloy, gold, porcelain, or a composite resin. Resin is the most commonly used filling product nowadays.
Cavities do differ however, there are 3 types of cavities that can occur:
The most common is smooth-surface decay. This occurs on the flat surface of the tooth when bacteria is not removed for some time. This is common in hard to reach area like wisdom teeth and molars. It is also the most preventable with regular professional cleans, fluoride application and good home care. Regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is the preventive to make sure that no further decay happens.
Second is pit and fissure decay. This is more commonly found in the crevasse of the tooth, where things like food are caught. Tooth brush bristles would not be able to make their way deep down inside the pit and this will cause the bacteria to grow, causing a cavity. These developmental grooves are hidden and often not diagnosed with decay unless special laser diagnostic probes are used. Using dental utensils is the best practice to remove plaque or food from these hard to reach areas, so regular checkups are advised.
And, finally root decay. More likely to be found in older adults, root decay occurs on the surface of the root of the teeth. The roots can be seen when the gum start to recede. This can be caused by gum disease, ageing, or poor brushing technique from a young age and some gum related issues. Root decay (root caries) can become a larger issue than the others because the spread of the decay can happen rapidly and is very difficult to remove. Proper hygienic cleans with careful examinations are really the best way to make sure that there is no root decay present. Root decay symptoms are cold sensitivity or toothache, so it is imperative that you see a dentist if you’re experiencing these issues.
Time to see your dentist?
Your dentist may use x-rays to determine what type of cavities you have and the best course of treatment.
Cavities, whilst some are not severe, can quickly lead to more major issues. Left untreated these cavities can cause the tooth to become sore or sensitive, fracture and more seriously, tooth abscess which can lead to pulp death which in turn requires a root canal or replacement. At Lentini Dental, we use state-of-the-art dental technology to find the ‘root’ of all cavity issues. Our dentists are all professionally trained and continue to seek ongoing education to make sure that they perform to the highest standards – something Dr Michael Lentini requires at Lentini Dental.
Regular cleaning and brushing is the first step, but making sure that you have regular cleans and checkups with Dentists and Dental Hygienists like Lentini Dental, Werribee will give your teeth better longevity. Lentini are also known for teeth replacement and repair using Dental Implants – so they can take care of your dental requirements from start to finish. They also practice in the latest Cosmetic Dental procedures and Dr Michael Lentini is highly regarded in the Dental industry.