All About Cavities

All About Tooth CavitiesOur teeth are crucial to our well-being. We use them to chew, nourishing our bodies to grow strong and stay healthy. Teeth are the building blocks of our smile which is an important part of making a good first impression when we meet new people. People grow two sets of the teeth in their lives: their baby teeth and their adult teeth. By aged twelve or thirteen your adult teeth have grown in. You won’t get anymore naturally so it’s very important to take care of them. The most common and persistent threat to a long life for your teeth are cavities.

How Do Cavities Form?

Cavities are weak spots on our teeth where the outer enamel has decayed and broken open, exposing the sensitive soft tissues and nerves within. This exposes the inside of your tooth to bacteria which lead to infections as well as creating sensitivity to temperature and touch and can even cause difficulty chewing properly. This sensitivity can limit what you can eat and possibly cause you not to get all the nutrients you need. Aside from common colds, cavities are the most frequently diagnosed ailment that humans suffer from. But what causes cavities? What can we do to repair them? And can we do to prevent them so we don’t have to?  Integrated Dental Arts of Greeley CO have the answers to these questions.
Your mouth is full of living bacteria. These bacteria tend to congregate in places that are hard for us to clean such as in between teeth and right at the gum line where they harden and form plaque. Whenever we eat carbohydrate-rich foods such as sugars (like in candy and cookies) or starches (like in potato chips), the bacteria living in our mouths break these foods down into their components. The acids that result bind to the plaque on our teeth and begin eating away at their enamel.

How to Treat Cavities

Dentists normally treat cavities with fillings. In this process the cavities in the tooth enamel are reinforced (or filled, hence the name) with various substances. This ends the process of decay by sealing out any further bacteria and acids from accessing the weak part of the tooth. Fillings can be made of composite resin, amalgamated metals, gold, silver or glass ionomer. Dr. Melvin Benson or Dr. Jacob Dunham will consult with you to decide which route would work best for your teeth.

How to Prevent Cavities

As with most things, it’s easier to maintain something than to fix it once it’s broken. It’s the same with your teeth. Brushing at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste is recommended to remove the plaque that may have formed. Dentists also recommend reducing intake of carbohydrates and hydrating properly. A dry mouth accelerates the breakdown of your teeth by acids from the foods you eat. Flossing daily can help clear away the plaque and prevent the formation of cavities in those difficult to reach spaces between your teeth. Most importantly, you should schedule routine check-ups and cleanings at your dentist’s office. For those patients in the Greeley CO area, call 970.281.5972 or schedule an appointment online to consult with Dr. Benson or Dr. Dunham of Integrated Dental Arts. If you think you might have a cavity, would like a cleaning to prevent them or have any other dental concern, contact us for an exam today!