Cavities are defined as holes in teeth caused by tooth decay. Also known as caries, their sizes differ from person to person. However, generally speaking, the less people take care of their teeth, the more prone they are to getting and having cavities. Signs and symptoms that you have tooth decay include temperature sensitivity, toothaches, and tooth discoloration. Here are some of the ways on how you can treat cavities.
Before recommending treatments, the dentist must first figure out just what kind of cavity the patient has. If a person is showing signs and symptoms of the presence of cavities and/or looking for a confirmatory test, there are a number of ways for dentists to clinically identify their presence, as well as, the potential extent of damage. First, they usually use a sharp object to feel for any compromise in the tooth structure. Second, they can use imaging methods such as X-rays, ultrasound, and fluorescence. Regular dental inspections are usually sufficient to catch cavities before they can worsen.
Dentists agree that there are 3 aspects in providing sufficient treatment for cavities. Each of these steps are crucial for relieving symptoms, and for ensuring that the problem would not worsen.
This step is still the most important when it comes to preventing cavities and tooth loss. While oral bacteria will always exist, reducing consumption of sugars in our diet will help keep their population under control (sugar is the main food source of bacteria). This is especially important for children who are just starting to grow their teeth. Regular brushing and flossing removes plaque, and helps reduce the amount of bacteria attached to teeth.
Replenishing the mineral content of teeth is useful for revitalizing tooth structure, compromised by acids, produced by oral bacteria. Calcium and fluoride, 2 essential components of teeth, are crucial for this process. With remineralization, the enamel of the tooth becomes more resistant to damage, and helps in reversing the presence of shallow cavities. This process is done by using calcium fluoride toothpastes and supplements. Your dental office in Annapolis, MD may also apply specialized remineralization treatments.
This step is done when a cavity has become too large to be repaired by remineralization. Restoration will not only repair your tooth, it will also prevent further damage and infection. The most basic restoration step done is using filling material such as amalgam. When damage is considered significant, a crown may be used to block off the damage. If cavities become large enough that they infect the tooth core, the nerve, or the underlying bone, invasive procedures such as a root canal or tooth extraction must be considered.