Unusual Facts About Cavities And Fillings
Cavities are one of the most pervasive issues in dentistry. The problem is that you can have one or many without ever even knowing. That’s why you need to call our highly trained dentists at (610) 838-0131 today for a dental cleaning and dental exam. If you catch tooth decay soon enough, you can get a dental filling to repair the tooth.
How Cavities Get Started
Why do teeth get cavities? No, it’s not sugar. At least, it’s technically not sugar.
Everyone has some harmful bacteria that live in their mouth. They live off food particles that get trapped on your teeth and gums after you eat. They’ll eat just about anything, but sugar and carbohydrates really help them thrive.
They secrete an acid that damages your enamel. That’s what cavities are — small holes created when acid erodes the enamel. Unfortunately, enamel does not grow back. The only way to repair the damage is by
- Removing the bacteria there
- Filling in and sealing up the cavity
Since enamel cannot be regrown, prevention is very important. That’s why you need to call our Hellertown, PA dental office today for dental cleanings and dental exams. Small cavities are much easier to treat than large ones.
Did You Know These Facts?
Although cavities are probably the most common dental problem, there are things most people do not know about cavities and fillings. Here are some of the little-known facts.
1. You Don’t Have To Get Metal Fillings Anymore
In the past, metal amalgam fillings were the only choice. You might be able to choose between silver and gold, but that’s about it. They work well, but they do not exactly look natural in your smile.
Thankfully, Hellertown Dental Group offers two modern alternatives. Porcelain and composite resin both repair cavities just as well. However, both are color-matched to your teeth. Once these are in place, your smile will still look natural.
2. Fillings Are Not Permanent
No matter the kind, fillings are meant to last a long time — but they are not permanent. That’s because your teeth are constantly being used to crush, tear, and chew up food. All kinds of pressure are hitting that filling.
In addition, decades of drinking very hot and very cold drinks expand and contract that metal a tiny bit. It’s definitely too small to notice, but over time, this will weaken the bond between the healthy enamel and the dental filling. This means you’ll need to replace your fillings eventually.
3. Cavities Keep Growing Until Treated
Very rarely will you find a problem that solves itself. Cavities are no exception.
Because cavities are caused by harmful bacteria thriving on your teeth, any cavity they are causing with acid will just keep growing. As long as the bacteria are there, you will lose more enamel.
But here’s the thing: Enamel has no nerve endings. You could have a big cavity right now and not know it. That’s why you need regular dental exams at our Hellertown, PA dental office. They only way to stop a cavity from growing is to get rid of that bacteria.
4. Untreated Cavities Can Lead To Root Canals
If you skip your routine dental exams long enough, a cavity that could have been stopped when it was small can turn into something very big. In fact, it can grow so deep that it breaks through to your dental pulp.
This is where the nerve endings and blood vessels of your teeth can be found. Once a cavity reaches here, the bacteria infect your dental pulp. This means you will need either a root canal or to have that tooth removed.
5. Dental Crowns Can Repair Large Cavities
When a cavity gets too big, you have two problems preventing you from getting a regular dental filling. First, there’s not enough healthy enamel to bond with. That filling will likely fall out soon. Second, the whole tooth is in danger of fracturing open one day while you’re chewing.
That’s where a dental crown comes to the rescue. These are caps designed to look and feel like a real tooth. It fits snugly over your damaged tooth, sealing up the cavity. A dental crown also holds the tooth together so it won’t fracture.
Treating Cavities In Hellertown, PA
Call us TODAY at (610) 838-0131 or contact us online to schedule your next dental cleaning and dental exam. Our dentists are very experienced, so they know how to spot cavities while they are still small and manageable.