You May Have a Cavity
What is a Cavity?
A cavity is when bacteria gets inside your tooth and starts rotting and eating it away. It is actually an infection in your tooth, and we know this infection can spread toxins into your body if left untreated. Your complete health is important to us, which is why we’re not all about just “drilling and filling” your cavities.
We look at all of your risk factors and work to get you fully healthy. Some questions we’ll ask are: Have you or your family members struggled with frequent cavities in the past? What are your current brushing and flossing habits? What does your nutrition and dietary intake look like? Knowing the answers to these questions and more will help us address the underlying causes of your cavities so we can make the best recommendations for cavity prevention moving forward.
One of our core values is to educate our patients about their oral health and how we can work together to establish and maintain their personal best. Cavity prevention is an important area we focus on, so make sure you are coming in regularly for cleanings and exams to ensure you stay cavity-free!
ARE SILVER FILLINGS UNHEALTHY?
If you are over the age of 35, it is highly likely you have silver fillings in your mouth. Silver fillings are not necessarily unhealthy if the restoration is completely intact and still functioning properly. Silver fillings do have the tendency to breakdown over time which can cause a tooth to crack and ultimately need to be extracted and replaced. The cost of tooth replacement is significantly higher than a filling, which is one of many reasons it is so important to have all of your existing fillings examined on a regular basis. There are several reasons to replace a silver filling, but the two most common are if the restoration is failing and allowing bacteria to infect the tooth or just a personal choice to remove mercury from your body. Some patients do not like the appearance of the dark fillings and prefer to have them replaced with either tooth-colored fillings or porcelain crowns. The fact remains that if you have any fillings, silver or tooth-colored, you need to have them examined on a regular basis to make sure they are still functioning properly. It is much easier and cheaper to restore a tooth at the first sign of a failing restoration than after the tooth has undergone significant damage.
How do cavities form?
Tooth decay usually occurs in children and young adults, but can affect anyone. It is a common cause of tooth loss in younger people. Bacteria is normally present in the mouth and breaks down food into sugars and acids. The combination of bacteria, acids, food debris, and saliva form plaque. If the harmful plaque is not removed by proper flossing and brushing, the decay process begins. As the acids in the plaque begin to weaken and dissolve the enamel, holes in the teeth are created. This is what we call cavities. Cavities are usually painless in the early stages, but as they grow closer to the nerve or center of the tooth they tend to cause sensitivity when drinking or eating certain foods. If left untreated, the decay will destroy your tooth’s enamel and the internal structure of the tooth. This can result in a lot of pain that requires a root canal or extraction to treat.