It’s common for you to get at least one cavity in your lifetime. Tooth decay is likely the most common dental problem in the US. However, many people don’t know much about it. There’s a vague connection to sugar, and fillings repair them, but that’s about it.
Call our Butte, MT dental office today at 406-565-4458 and schedule a dental cleaning and dental exam. Both are necessary every six months to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Our dentists have the expertise you need to find cavities and repair them.
How Your Teeth Get Cavities
How does tooth decay happen? Sugar is involved, but it’s not the cause.
Everyone’s mouth has some harmful bacteria living there. The produce an acid that erodes enamel and creates the holes called cavities. The bacteria survive on leftover food particles that get stuck on and between your teeth. They can eat most things, but they thrive on sugar.
That’s why candy leads to tooth decay. As the harmful bacteria go crazy over sugar, they multiply and spread across your teeth. When they cluster together, the acid they produce gives you cavities in those spots.
3 Tips For Fighting Cavities
Then how can you fight tooth decay? Here are the three biggest tips.
BRUSH AND FLOSS DAILY
Since those harmful bacteria need food particles to survive, you can control the situation by getting rid of those particles. Brushing twice each day, and flossing once at night, can deprive bacteria of the food they need. Less bacteria means less risk of cavities.
LIMIT SUGAR AND CARBS
Along the same lines, you can help avoid giving bacteria the food they love by limiting how much sugar you eat. Carbohydrates are so similar to sugar that you should also take it easy on carbs.
VISIT OUR BUTTE, MT DENTAL OFFICE REGULARLY
Brushing, flossing, and changes to your diet are all helpful. But only trained dental professionals have the skill and technology to really get your teeth clean. That’s why twice-yearly visits to Butte Family Dental are so important. Plus, it’s always best to catch a cavity when it’s still small and easier to repair.
Did You Know These Cavity And Filling Facts?
– You can get tooth-colored or safe metal fillings.
In the past, your only choice for a dental filling was metal amalgam. That’s fine because metal fillings are safe and effective. However, they do tend to stick out among your white teeth.
By calling us today at 406-565-4458, you can also get tooth-colored composite fillings. These use a composite resin material instead of metal. They repair cavities just as well, but they are colored to match your teeth and blend in easily.
– Untreated cavities keep growing worse.
Because tooth decay is caused by bacteria, you have to get rid of them to stop the damage. Until that’s done, the cavity will keep getting bigger and deeper. But the big problem is knowing it’s even there. You have no feeling in your enamel, so you could have cavities growing worse without realizing it.
That’s why you need to call our Butte, MT dental office for a dental exam. With our dentists’ skill and modern technology, you can identify cavities before they grow too big.
– Dental crowns can repair cavities too big for dental fillings.
Normally, you get a dental filling (metal amalgam or composite) to fill in the hole. This helps protect your tooth and keep it strong. However, a filling only works if there’s enough healthy enamel left to bond with.
By calling Butte Family Dental today, you can get a dental crown instead. These lifelike caps fit snugly over your tooth. This holds it tightly together while repairing the cavity.
– If a cavity gets too deep, you’ll need a root canal or dental extraction.
A cavity doesn’t have to get big to get deep. It could almost drill straight in, reaching the dental pulp eventually. This is when you start to notice a toothache. Worse, the bacteria infect your tooth and cause the enamel to get brittle.
By this point, you will either need a root canal to remove the infection or, if the infection is too bad, a dental extraction to remove the tooth entirely. Otherwise, you’ll just be in pain as the infection spreads to other parts of your body. Again, that’s why early detection with a dental exam is so important.