When patients visit our dental practice, the most commonly seen oral condition is cavities. Cavities occur due to the activity of microbes in the mouth. So, if you have a cavity, will you get it treated at the earliest by your dentist? Or, would you ignore it for the moment as it isn't causing you any trouble?
How are cavities formed?
Our mouth contains thousands of microscopic bacteria. The longer they stay in the mouth, the more harm they would cause. Hence, dentists suggest brushing and flossing the teeth at least twice a day to get rid of the majority of microbes. No matter how well you brush and floss, a few microbes will always get left behind. Over time, they multiply and get deposited on the teeth in the form of a transparent layer called plaque.
When plaque is left to stay on the teeth for a long time, it could form dark patches called tartar. Tartar is the major cause of cavities as the microbes in it release harmful acids. These acids can erode the enamel, thereby allowing the microbes to reach the underlying layers of the tooth.
Why is it important to treat cavities in the initial stages?
Many patients with small cavities ignore them for a long time. Since the cavity would not be causing pain or troubling them in any way, the need to get the cavity treated would not arise. But, without your knowledge, the cavity would be growing larger and deeper with time. This is due to the continuous action of microbes dwelling within the cavity and the decay caused by them. Before you could realize, the cavity could grow so deep that it reaches the inner layers of the teeth and enter the root canal cavity. What follows is a root canal infection, that could affect your entire oral health and put the tooth at risk of being extracted.
What is the solution?
As soon as you notice the onset of a cavity, reach out to your dentist and explain the situation. When you come for a consultation, we would conduct a thorough diagnosis and determine if it is a tartar deposit or an actual cavity. Based on the severity of the condition, the treatment and means of restoration will be suggested by the dentist.
A cavity-infected tooth will be treated by getting rid of the decay. For this, we use an ultrasonic scaling device that has a metal tip that vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies. After thoroughly removing the decay and scrubbing off the walls of the cavity, we will move on to the restoration. Restoring the tooth is ideally done using filling material. We suggest the use of composite fillings as they are aesthetically pleasing, easy to shape, durable, long-lasting, and offer excellent functionality. It will be applied on the tooth and shaped according to the contour, after which a blue curing light will be used to harden it. It may be trimmed and buffed to enhance its appearance.
For more assistance, reach out to us at (925) 553-7173 or schedule an online appointment to have a consultation with Dr. Balakrishna.