If you’re experiencing toothaches, especially while eating, you might have a cavity. Sweets and hot or cold food and drinks can make the pain worse, making it hard to focus on anything but your mouth. At Alpine Dental in Monroe, Washington, the experienced team of dentists offers effective, state-of-the-art technology to repair cavities and prevent them from returning. Don’t let cavity pain ruin your day. Book your appointment online now.
Cavities are the result of weak enamel and tooth decay. Decay affects both the enamel and the inner-tooth layer, dentin. A cavity, or pit, forms in the tooth (sometimes deep enough to expose the nerve).
Enamel weakens naturally over time, leading to cavities. Inadequate oral care may also result in cavities. Bacteria, saliva, and acidic or sugary foods form plaque when you don’t properly remove them from in between the teeth.
Plaque clings to your teeth, dissolving the enamel and creating holes. Those with receding gums are also susceptible to cavities as plaque forms close to the roots, causing decay.
Cavities can grow larger without immediate dental care. Routine dental exams often reveal them or when tooth pain occurs.
Fillings are the most common method for treating cavities. Your dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth and fills in the hole using a durable, safe material like porcelain or composite resin.
For severe decay, you may need a crown to repair the tooth. Your dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth and fuses a crown over the remaining tooth.
A root canal is also an effective treatment for cavities when the root or pulp of the tooth is damaged and is irreparable. The dentist removes blood vessels, tissue, and the nerve surrounding the decayed tooth then fills in the root with a sealing material.
Preventing cavities is vital to good oral health. To protect enamel, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and after every meal. A fluoride toothpaste can support healthy enamel, and you should floss daily to remove plaque and food from in between your teeth.
Regular dental checkups -- at least every six months -- helps dentists identify weak spots and small cavities so they can repair them promptly. Untreated cavities can lead to an abscess, a painful infection in the tooth, or the total loss of the tooth.
There are other preventive treatments to protect teeth from cavities. Learn more about cavity prevention from Alpine Dental by booking your appointment online today.