Tooth decay is the damage to the enamel of your tooth caused by acids that are created when bacteria break down sugars in your mouth. If the loss of minerals from your tooth is left untreated, a cavity, also known as dental caries, may form. Without prompt treatment, these cavities can grow over time and destroy the whole tooth. The nerves in your tooth in such a case will become exposed, and you may feel pain when you eat or drink hot or cold foods.
If you feel a lot of pain in the root of your tooth, you may have tooth decay, and you should visit a professional dentist as soon as possible. Feel free to schedule an appointment with Alpen Dental dentists at Blackfalds and Rimbey.
What Causes Cavities?
The main causes of tooth cavities are sugary foods and beverages. The more sugary foods and drinks you consume, the more acid is produced, leading to tooth decay. Excess sugar on your teeth combines with plaque and continues to destroy the enamel. Each time you consume anything sugary, your teeth are vulnerable to being attacked by acid for the next 20 minutes.
It’s important to know what exactly causes tooth decay so that you can take better care of your teeth:
- Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis will allow plaque buildup, which attacks the enamel of your teeth.
- Dental plaque: Plaque forms when food particles and bacteria combine in your mouth. Plaque sticks to the teeth and acid secreted by the bacteria in your mouth corrode the enamel, gradually forming holes and cavities.
- Dry mouth: Saliva helps prevent plaque from building up on your teeth. If you have little saliva in your mouth, plaque will accumulate faster, leading to corrosion of the tooth enamel.
- Eating and drinking: Whenever you eat, starch remains on your teeth until you brush and floss. But even after brushing, some food particles may still remain on your teeth. Food that sticks on your teeth increases your risk of developing cavities. It’s important to brush and floss your teeth regularly, especially after eating or drinking sugary substances.
- Bacteria and acid: Most people don’t know that we all have bacteria naturally living in our mouths. When these bacteria ingest food particles that are left behind after we eat, they secrete acid that corrodes the enamel, leading to the formation of cavities.
Dental Cavities Treatment Options
It’s important to seek prompt treatment for cavities. Otherwise, the acids will continue to corrode the enamel and the inner parts of your teeth, causing decay. If you’ve ever experienced a toothache, you likely had a cavity that had reached the nerve openings in your root canal.
Our professional dentists at Alpen Dental will carefully examine your teeth and take X-rays if necessary. If you have a cavity, they’ll offer cavity treatment by repairing it first and then removing the decayed part with a special drill. The dentist will then fill the cavity with a dental filling.
Our dentists commonly use the following four main types of fillings.
1. GOLD FILLINGS
Gold is a very strong dental filling material that has been used in dentistry for more than 100 years. It provides a perfect fit and a super-tight seal that covers all types of cavities. While they don’t usually match the colour of the teeth, most people find these fillings attractive, especially in the back teeth. Gold fillings are quite expensive, but they’re durable and cost-effective in the long run.
2. PORCELAIN INLAYS
Porcelain is a dental filling that attempts to combine the appeal of white with the benefits of gold. Porcelain inlays are made in dental labs, making them durable and long-lasting. They’re a better solution than composite fillings, though they don’t last as long as gold fillings because their interface is made of resin.
3. WHITE FILLINGS
White fillings are made of composite material and can be matched with the colour of your teeth. The main advantage of white resin is that it looks natural, and little to no tooth structure has to be removed to fix it. In addition, white fillings can be used to repair broken or chipped teeth.
These fillings are mostly installed on the front teeth because of their aesthetic appeal, as they can match the colour of your teeth. White fillings are the most commonly used dental filling today. However, they’re not as strong or durable as gold fillings, which is why they’re mostly installed on front teeth, where less biting occurs.
4. AMALGAM FILLINGS
Amalgam fillings, also called metal fillings, have been in use for decades. They’re strong, durable and cost-effective. Because metal has less aesthetic appeal, however, they’re mostly used for back tooth fillings. While amalgam fillings are more cost-effective than other options, they’re not as common because of concerns about their toxic nature. They tend to break down over time. Another downside is that because metal expands when it’s heated and contracts when it’s cooled, these fillings may eventually lead to the development of cracks.
Restore Your Smile
With so many options, it’s crucial for you to visit your dentist so that you can be advised on the right solution depending on your specific condition. If you’re looking for dental cavity treatment in the Blackfalds and Rimbey areas, our dentists at Alpen Dental are ready to help you. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation with our dentists and restore your healthy, beautiful smile.