Having a beautiful smile is important for your self-esteem and overall physical health. People who have chronic oral infections and rotten teeth can start to feel ashamed of their smile and uncomfortable talking to friends, family and even strangers. Poor oral health and cavities often go hand-in-hand with halitosis (bad breath). Because the enamel on your teeth never grows back, it is important to combat the decay that is constantly battling to overtake your teeth.
How Do Cavities Form?
Cavities form because our mouths are constantly producing a mix of bacteria and saccharines in our saliva called biofilm. This sticky soup of sugars and bacteria are looking for a place to call home. The bacteria are actually the active component that are feeding off the sugars and hardening the mixture into a compound called plaque by leeching other minerals from saliva to attach to tooth structures. If we don’t brush our teeth daily to remove the biofilm, it will harden into plaque and start to build up and grow bacteria more aggressively.
The bacteria will then infect our gum line and cause inflammation and pockets called periodontal pockets by our teeth. Once these pockets get deep enough, the plaque will start to grow deeper and can even start to destroy the bone tissue. The result is missing and loose teeth, tooth decay, chronic infections, halitosis, and bone loss. Nearly 50 percent of all Americans over the age of 30 have some form of periodontitis. Most of them are elderly people who suffer from poor oral hygiene because of medications that dry their mouths. Smoking also greatly increases the chances of developing this disorder and makes it harder for your mouth to heal.
The plaque is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that causes cavities. The bacteria will start to penetrate and dissolve the enamel coating of your teeth by producing toxic acids. The acids then create micropores that allow them to slowly digest and break down the tooth structures. Teeth may appear to be intact while they are actually becoming weaker and rotting away at a microscopic level. This is why it takes a full 6 months for a cavity to form even though there is subtle damage being done every day when oral care is neglected.
You can prevent cavities by brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. You can floss at any time during the day to gently polish away the biofilm and plaque that builds up under the gum line and between teeth. Using mouthwash and brushing for a significant duration of time (at least 2 minutes) will also help to kill germs and neutralize the biofilm growing in your mouth. Keeping your mouth moist at all times, especially if you take medications that cause dry mouth, will also help to neutralize the bacteria that cause cavities with your own natural saliva washing most of the bacteria away.
Once your dentist at Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry determines that you have a cavity after an oral examination, they will recommend that you have it filled and restored as quickly as possible. If you put off cavity treatment, the cavity will progressively grow and accelerate its destruction of the tooth. This is because the bacteria has softened the enamel and is penetrating and thriving in the cavities that it builds. If you do not act fast to remove the porous tooth matter that it inhabits, it will cause halitosis and speed up the decay of all your teeth.
The dentists at Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry start off your cavity treatment by numbing the region of the mouth that has the cavity. They use lidocaine or other injectable and safe local anesthetics to ensure that the cavity treatment is painless and as comfortable as possible. The next step in the cavity treatment is to drill away at the damaged and weakened crown of the tooth until only solid and stable tooth remains. If your Alpharetta dental care specialist didn’t drill down your tooth, the bacteria would continue to thrive and would soon deteriorate the tooth again.
The final step in the cavity treatment is to fill in the hole where the bacteria had formed a cavity and weakened the tooth. This will seal the tooth and protect it from penetration by biofilm bacteria. It will also restore the bite and structure of the tooth to allow for painless and comfortable chewing. Your dentist may use either a tooth-colored resin material to fill the cavity or a metal amalgam mixture for larger fillings deeper inside the mouth. In any case, you will be able to eat as normal and continue your normal hygiene as soon as the local anesthetic wears off a couple of hours later.
If you or your family find yourselves in need of quality Alpharetta dental care, Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has you covered. We also serve our friends and neighbors in Cumming, Atlanta, and Forsythe, Georgia. Please call us today to book an appointment.