Are You A Candidate For Fillings?
Everyone is susceptible to cavities, but they can be prevented with a diligent home care regimen that includes regular brushing at least twice a day and flossing once per day.
What are cavities?
When the food we eat interact with bacteria in our mouths, the result is a chemical reaction that produces acid. This acid can erode tooth enamel (the white part of the teeth that we can see). This causes the tooth to decay. Eventually, a small hole will form in the tooth’s enamel surface and this is a cavity. As it grows, it’s an open door to infection and further decay that weakens the tooth and leads to pain and tooth loss.
Initially, you may not experience any symptoms of having a cavity. However, as the cavity progresses, these are some of the telltale signs:
- tooth sensitivity
- pain and discomfort when you bite down
- minor to substantial pain when drinking or eating anything hold, cold, or sweet
- staining on the tooth surface
- toothache or sudden pain that appears to come out of nowhere.
In addition to decay on the enamel crown of a tooth, here are two other places that are vulnerable…
- Root Cavity – Gum disease, or aggressive brushing, causes gums to recede, exposing the root and making it vulnerable to acid attacks. Root structure is softer than enamel so cavities can form easily. According to one statistic, 10-20% of cavities start to form below the gumline. Who is most likely to develop a root cavity? Root cavities regularly show up in adults over the age of 50, according to the American Dental Association. And when people hit the age of 70, they are the perfect age for root decay.
- Recurrent Decay – This is when a previously placed filling becomes compromised and the edges (or margins) of the filling or broken edges of the filling snag food and allow bacteria to seep underneath it. Because of the location of the bacteria, it can’t be removed with a regular toothbrush. And because it doesn’t get removed, decay reoccurs.