Tooth decay (also known as cavities) is likely the most common dental problem in the US. Almost everyone gets a filling at some point in their life. But for being such a widespread problem, there’s a lot people don’t know about it.
That’s why you need to call Tulip Tree Dental Care today at 574-208-5668 and schedule your next appointment. As a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, Dr. Hurcomb fully understands how cavities happen and how best to correct them.
Why People Get Cavities
It’s not the sugar so much as the bacteria who love sugar that’s the problem.
Everyone has some harmful bacteria in their mouth. They eat tiny food particles, and they really thrive on sugar and carbs. (Both are full of energy needed to grow.) As they grow and multiply, the produce an acid. When the bacteria are on the surface of your teeth, this acid erodes the enamel and creates holes.
What makes this worse is how your enamel has no nerve endings. You cannot feel cavities being formed, so you could have tooth decay without realizing it.
By calling our South Bend, IN dental office today, you can make an appointment for dental exams that can catch cavities. The sooner Dr. Hurcomb can examine your teeth, the easier it will be to halt and repair the damage being done.
3 Important Ways To Avoid Tooth Decay
When it comes to avoiding cavities in the first place, there are three major ways.
- 1. Avoid sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods when possible. Bacteria can survive on just about anything, but they go crazy for sugars and carbs. By skipping those foods when you can, you’re helping keep those harmful bacteria under control.
- 2. Brush and floss regularly. Since bacteria are surviving by eating food particles left in your mouth, getting rid of those particles helps restrict the bacteria. That’s why brushing and flossing is so important.
- 3. Visit our dental office for dental cleanings. However, brushing and flossing can only do so much. Regular dental cleanings from our highly skilled hygienists can remove plaque and tartar that are hard to remove at home.
Little-Known Cavity And Filling Facts
– Until you get a cavity treated, it keeps growing bigger.
Again, you have no nerve endings in your enamel. (They’re hidden in the dental pulp underneath your enamel.) That means you could have cavities and not realize anything is wrong. Worse, those cavities will keep growing because the bacteria are still there producing that acid.
Dr. Hurcomb has the training needed to gently remove the eroded enamel and fill in the cavity is a dental filling. This protects your tooth and stop the cavity from getting worse.
– A cavity that grows too deep can require a root canal.
Remember how your tooth has nerve endings below the enamel? An untreated cavity can grow so deep that it breaks past the enamel and reaches the dental pulp. When the bacteria infect there, you have two problems. First, it’s painful. Second, it makes your tooth brittle.
The only way to save the tooth from being removed (or breaking while still in your mouth) is a root canal followed by a dental crown.
– A cavity that grows too wide can require a dental crown.
Dental fillings are the standard treatment for tooth decay. In order for a filling to stay put, you need enough healthy enamel for it to bond with. If a cavity is too big, there might not be enough enamel and the filling will just fall out sooner or later.
In these cases, Dr. Hurcomb can use a dental crown instead. This tooth-shaped cap fits snugly over the visible part of your tooth. This seals up the cavity so it won’t get worse and so the tooth is strong and durable again.
– You can get tooth-colored composite fillings from our South Bend, IN Dental office.
Metal amalgam fillings work, but they have some drawbacks. The biggest is how they do not look natural in your smile. Thankfully, you can get a composite filling from Tulip Tree Dental Care instead. These work just as well, but they’re colored to match your teeth and blend in with your smile.
Call us TODAY at 574-208-5668 or make an appointment online to schedule the dental cleanings and dental exams you need to fight tooth decay. Even if you think your teeth are healthy, you can get the peace of mind that comes with knowing for sure.