Call for an Appointment: (410) 381-5030
Dental Cavities & Tooth Decay
Cavities and tooth decay can be problematic for many people. The choices you make from the food and drinks you consume to your brushing and flossing habits, can make a significant impact on your oral health. At Crafton Dental, we can provide you with the education and tools you need optimum oral health.
Why do I get dental cavities?Cavities, known as caries in dentistry, are the result of bacteria feeding on sugar. Your mouth is exposed to many bacteria each day, and they look for sugar to feed on. A natural place for sugar to collect is in the plaque that naturally forms on your teeth. Plaque is a blend of saliva and food debris, and bacteria often finds it to be a delicious sugary feast. As the bacteria feed on the plaque that accumulates on the surface and along the gum line of our teeth, it emits an acid that breaks down the enamel and decays the tooth. Damage and holes appear in the enamel where it has broken down, and this is known as cavities.
How do I prevent cavities?Brushing and flossing twice a day can greatly reduce the level of plaque and help protect your teeth from bacterial damage. This removes much of the soft, Doughy plaque. Hardened plaque is known as tartar, and tartar is difficult to remove. Tartar must be professionally removed by your registered dental hygienist at Crafton Dental.
Ignoring cavities only allows the decay to grow and can potentially lead to a bacterial infection of the pulp. Ignoring a cavity often means pain for you, more time in the chair, and more expensive treatment. Catching cavities when they are small is best, ideally when you visit Crafton Dental for your regular dental checkup.
How do I fix a decayed tooth?Once you have experienced tooth decay or a cavity, it can only be fixed by visiting Crafton Dental.
Fixing a small cavityA small cavity can typically be resolved quickly and easily. First, we remove the bacteria and decayed tooth material. Then the space is filled with a composite resin..
Fixing a large cavityA larger cavity may require a full crown. We will assess the tooth and review your treatment options. Large cavities mean that more tooth material needs to be taken away to remove all of the decayed portions. As more tooth material is removed, the tooth becomes weaker. Therefore, a crown may be required for increased strength.
When does a decayed tooth need a root canal?Root canal therapy is needed when the bacteria has extended past the dentin layer and has infected the inner portion, or pulp, of the tooth. This step requires access into the tooth to remove the source of the infection.
Still have questions about cavities or tooth decay?Tooth decay will never heal on its own, and it should not be ignored. If you think you have a dental cavity, tooth decay, or tooth pain, call us today at (410) 381-5030. We can diagnose and treat the issue at our Columbia dental office.
Crafton Dental - 10380 Old Columbia Rd, Suite 102, Columbia, MD 21046 - (410) 381-5030
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