The enamel on your teeth is very hard, but it can be eroded and pits will develop in it that will eventually lead to the formation of a cavity. This is an ongoing process that never stops and some situations can make cavities develop even faster. In order to stop or prevent tooth decay, you will have to actively fight it and take some steps to reduce the likelihood of developing cavities.
The Cause of Cavities
Cavities are caused by some of the bacteria in your mouth. When it comes in contact with sugar, it turns it into acid. As the plaque builds on your teeth during the day, it means the acid is also directly on your teeth. This slowly erodes the enamel away, making cavities and thin spots in your enamel, which can lead to sensitive teeth.
You can also get tooth decay on the roots of your teeth if your gums are receding. This is caused by gum disease and you may need separate treatment for it.
Saliva and Your Teeth
Your saliva helps to wash away the bacteria and acid from your teeth – as long as you have enough of it. People who have dry mouth, which can be caused by medications, some illnesses, and medical treatments, face greater problems with tooth decay because the bacteria can cause more damage to your teeth in a shorter period of time.
Cavities Only Get Worse
Once a cavity starts in your tooth, it is only going to become worse. Early treatment will let you save money and keep the problem to a minimum. Otherwise, if you let it go, it could lead to more serious problems and more costly ones. It might lead to a need for a new crown, an extraction, a root canal, or an abscessed tooth.
Types of Fillings
When fixing a cavity, a dentist can use several types of fillings. You can choose from the standard amalgams which are silver in color, gold or get one that is tooth colored – depending on the size of the cavity.
Some foods and drinks, such as soda, fruit juices, energy drinks, and specialty coffees, have lots of sugar in them, which means that there is more sugar available for the bacteria to multiply – and the acid will too. These drinks also have their own acid, which is sure to lead to even faster cavities.
When drinking this type of drink, or eating desserts and other snack foods with lots of sugar in them, you can reduce the potential damage by rinsing your mouth out with water afterward and getting most of the sugar off of them. Or, you may gently brush your teeth and do a more thorough job.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps to rebuild teeth. The acid depletes (demineralizes) your teeth of important minerals, but fluoride helps to remineralize your teeth, along with the minerals in your saliva.
If you have tooth decay and need treatment for it, Dr. Rafael Lakhchakov can provide you with the fillings you need in his Richmond Hill office in Queens, NY. He can also help you get crowns, and other cosmetic dentistry services to give you a great smile. In order to get more information or to set up an appointment, just call his office at (718) 262-0720.