The Basics About Cavities

We need our teeth. Teeth are instrumental in eating which nourishes our bodies and helps us grow strong and stay healthy. Our smile is comprised of teeth and helps us make a first impression when we meet new people. Human beings have two sets of the teeth in their lifetime: baby teeth and adult teeth. Once your adult teeth have come in, usually by the age of twelve to thirteen, it’s crucial to take care of them as they need to last the rest of your life. The most common threat to the longevity of your teeth are cavities.

Cavities are spots of tooth decay on our teeth. These spots are where tooth enamel has weakened and broken open, creating a hole (or cavity, hence the name) and exposing the sensitive soft tissues and nerves within. This exposure can often cause your teeth to be sensitive to temperature or touch and can make chewing properly difficult, limiting your choice of foods.  Cavities are the most frequently diagnosed ailment from which humans suffer after the common cold.

What causes this threat to a healthy smile and can we do anything to prevent them?

Our mouths are flush with bacteria. These bacteria concentrate and form plaque in places that are difficult to clean such as in between teeth and at the gum line. Our mouths break down sugars and starches, creating natural acids that bind to the plaque and can eat away at the enamel of our teeth. 

Your dentist treats your cavities with fillings, plugs made of various materials. Fillings halt the process of decay by denying bacteria and acids entrance to the compromised part of the tooth.  Fillings can be constructed of composite resin, amalgamated metals, gold, silver or glass ionomer. Your Arbor Dental Associates dentist will consult with you to decide which route would work best for your teeth.   

As with many conditions, preventing cavities is easier than curing them. Dentists recommend brushing after meals or at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste as a means of prevention. They also suggest cutting down on carbohydrates and keeping your body properly hydrated. A dry mouth will accelerate the acids’ assault on your teeth. Daily flossing clears away the plaque and prevents the formation of cavities in those spaces between teeth that are hard to reach with a brush. The most important measure you can take is to schedule regular check-ups and cleanings at your dentist’s office.

If you think you may be suffering from cavity, would like to know more about how to prevent them or need a preventative teeth cleaning, don’t wait to talk to your dentist. For those patients in the Novi area, call 248.468.4962 or schedule an appointment online to consult with your Arbor Dental Associates dentist.

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