It all starts with tooth decay, which results from bacteria that turns into plaque over time. Before you or your child know it, a cavity will form from this process! Plaque will eat away at tooth enamel, the protective layer on the outside of the tooth, and it may also affect dentin, the main portion of the tooth. Eventually, a hole or cavity will form in the tooth. If left untreated, decay can progress to deeper levels of your teeth and mouth tissues.
Causes of Cavities
Our Livingston cosmetic dentists point to the following as the most common causes of cavities:
- Foods or beverages heavy in sugar or starch are left on the teeth.
- An old filling leaks, paving the way for bacteria to fill the crevice
- Poor dental hygiene
Treatment of Cavities
It is important to schedule regular checkups to detect and treat cavities before they grow larger and lead to more damage.
- Dental Fillings: This treatment of cavities calls for the drilling of a hole into the decayed portion of the tooth. The hole can then be filled with composite resin material porcelain, or silver amalgam. Our practice uses natural-looking, tooth-colored material for the optimal look and health of the patient.
- Fluoride: Fluoride treatments are best used at the preliminary stages of a cavity. Fluoride, a mineral, helps re-mineralize the teeth. The mineral can be applied using a liquid solution, gel, foam, or varnish that’s brushed onto the teeth or applied using a tray shaped to your bite.
- Dental Crowns: Patients with more elaborately decayed teeth may need to treat cavities with dental crowns in Livingston rather than a dental filling. Crowns at our practice are made of porcelain, customized to match the shape of the desired tooth. They are then fitted over the drilled area that once housed decay.
- Root Canals: Decay reaching the innermost part of the tooth, known as the pulp, must be treated with a root canal. Damaged tooth pulp will be removed and replaced with a dental filling.
- Tooth Extractions: The most severe cavities call for tooth extractions. Once the tooth or teeth in question are removed, dental bridges or implants will be necessary to fit in prosthetic, natural-looking teeth.
Prevention of Cavities
The best part of cavities is that they can be avoided, both in children and adults. To prevent cavities, take care to:
- Brush teeth at least twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Use an antiseptic mouth wash
- Schedule regular dental cleanings
If you are seeking any dental treatment, from dental fillings to dental crowns to a routine checkup in Livingston, New Jersey, please schedule an appointment at our practice today. Dr. David Silverstrom and Dr. Gary Silverstrom and staff look forward to working with you!