Cavities are among the most common dental problems we treat as a Juno Beach dentist. While cavities are common, they are easily preventable and treatable with prompt care. With quick treatment, we restore the health of the tooth while preventing additional damage. However, all too often people underestimate the importance of having a cavity treated promptly. As a result, the decay will progress, allowing the tooth to become severely compromised. What once required a simple dental filling could now cause the tooth to need extraction. We do not want to see you place your oral health at risk due to an untreated cavity.
How Do Cavities Develop?
Cavities are the result of decay that occurs when the enamel of a tooth has become damaged. Our mouths naturally contain certain levels of bacteria. In order to keep bacteria to a minimum, you must practice proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. However, when proper oral care is not maintained, plaque and tarter accumulations develop. As we consume sugary foods, the sugar in the foods combine with the bacteria in the plaque and tarter buildup. This causes the sugar to turn to acid. As the acid sits on the teeth, it slowly starts to eat away at the enamel. Over time, the enamel will become weakened and small holes will develop, leading to a cavity.
What are the Complications of Untreated Cavities?
When caught early, a cavity is easily treatable using a minor dental procedure. We remove the area of decay and seal the tooth with a dental filling. This stops the decay, prevents bacteria from developing, and restores the health and function of the tooth.
However, if the cavity is left untreated, the decay will begin to extend further into the dentin of the tooth. Over time, the decay will continue, eventually affecting the pulp of the tooth. When this occurs, the tooth can become infected. At this point, what once required a dental filling will now require a more extensive procedure, like root canal therapy. However, if the tooth continues to be left untreated, the tooth can become too severely damaged beyond the point of repair. When this occurs, the tooth will need to be extracted to save the other teeth from damage.
How Can I Prevent Cavities?
Cavity prevention is fairly easy. You need to brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. Brush all surfaces of the teeth for at least two minutes. In addition, you need to floss your teeth daily. Eat a balanced diet that is limited on sugar. You will also need to visit the dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings. We will provide cavity prevention treatments while also detecting and treating cavities while they are still small.
If you suspect you have a cavity due to pain or tooth sensitivity, you need to schedule an appointment right away. You do not want to delay care or you may just end up losing your tooth. If you suspect you have a cavity, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.