Cavities, also known as dental caries or decay, are one of the most common dental problems that people face. They occur when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that dissolve the enamel of the teeth, leading to the formation of small holes or cavities. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Luckily, there are plenty of restorative treatments to remove decay and repair your smile.
Do you suspect that a cavity is forming in your smile? Don’t wait until it becomes a painful problem. Contact Dr. Matthew L. Bridges at Chisholm Trail Smile Center in Duncan, OK, today! Patients can easily request information and appointments at (580) 255-4880.
Dental decay is entirely preventable. That’s why dentists recommend once-daily flossing, twice-daily brushing, and biannual dental exams and cleanings. But, even with the best care and maintenance, it is still possible to develop cavities. In this blog, we explore the causes of cavities and the best ways to treat them.
What causes cavities?
Many factors can contribute to cavity formation, including:
Poor Oral Hygiene
Daily brushing and flossing are key components in oral hygiene, as they work to keep cavity-causing plaque off of the teeth. Failure to brush and floss daily can lead to plaque formation, which contains harmful bacteria that produce acids that dissolve tooth enamel.
Sugar and Starch
Eating foods that are high in sugar and starch can also contribute to the development of cavities. These substances provide fuel for the bacteria living in the mouth, which can then produce more enamel-destroying acid.
Dry mouth is a condition in which the salivary glands do not produce enough moisture. Experts believe that roughly one in every four adults suffers from dry mouth, making it a very common oral issue.
A dry mouth can lead to dental decay. This is because there is not enough saliva to wash away residual food debris and bacteria in the mouth, which can quickly lead to cavities.
Even with the best oral hygiene and the cleanest diet, it is still possible to develop dental caries. This is because some patients have a genetic predisposition to certain conditions that can increase the likelihood of dental decay, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Metabolic syndrome
How to Treat Cavities
The best way to treat cavities is to prevent them. However, even the best preventive measures may not be enough for some patients. So, here are a few ways that dentists can treat cavities:
Dental fillings are a durable material that a trained dentist can use to plug the space left behind after cavity removal. This treatment is long-lasting, with many fillings lasting for decades.
In some cases, cavities are too extensive to repair with fillings. Dental crowns are a step above dental fillings, as they offer 360° protection after cavity removal.
Root Canal Therapy
If a cavity spreads too far, then it can cause a root canal infection. Root canal therapy removes infected dental pulp and protects the tooth from further damage.
In extreme cases, a dentist may not be able to save a severely decaying tooth. A health-saving tooth extraction may be a last-ditch effort to save your oral health from a pervasive cavity.
Treat Cavities with Our Dentist in Duncan, OK
Don’t let dental decay rob you of your smile. Get high-quality cavity treatment in Duncan, OK, with Dr. Matthew L. Bridges today! Patients can request appointments here or at (580) 255-4880.