Why We Need Retainers After Our Braces

Retainers, braces

You’ve reached the finishing line! No more braces. No more restrictions on foods or extra care. It’s a celebration until your orthodontist tells you, you need to wear retainers. Just when we think we are done with our treatment, we are told we need retainers the celebration is over. We get it! But the celebration should still happen.

For one, your brace treatment is done, and your teeth have been aligned, and two, wearing a retainer is part of your brace treatment to keep your teeth healthy and aligned. We know it can come as a surprise, but it’s necessary. So…

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What Do We Know About Whitening Our Smile

teeth whitening

Who here is thinking of getting their teeth whitened? We see beautiful smiles on television every day or in the movies where actors or celebrities have stainless smiles. We too want to have that; we want to have a smile we are proud to show off to everyone especially during photo times.

Before we didn’t have stains in our teeth, so how did it get there? Discoloration happens over time, but we can prevent certain stains from penetrating the outer layer of our teeth from the foods and drinks we have. It happens, but find out what kind of stains we get and which are easier to get out and what options you have.  

Why Do Our Teeth Stain?

Our teeth can experience discoloration for many reasons, some which are caused by what we eat and others related to our age (internal changes). There are three main factors on why our teeth stain, some you may already know, others not so much.  

  • Extrinsic Stains – occurs when the outer layer of our tooth, the enamel, can be stained by outside substances such as the foods and drinks we have. For example, if you’re a regular coffee, tea, or wine drinker, you may already start building superficial statins on your teeth. Of course, drinks are not the only ones to leave stains, some of the foods we eat can stain them too such as berries (i.e., raspberry, blackberries, etc.), popsicles, or beets.
  • Intrinsic Stains – are stains that occur in the inner layer of the tooth, the dentin, that yellows or tints the tooth from its original color. There are a couple of reasons why internal stains happen such as excessive use of fluoride especially in children, use of tetracycline antibiotics at a younger age, or trauma to the tooth.
  • Age-related Stains – over time our tooth’s enamel becomes thin which shows the dentin. It is also the combination of the extrinsic and intrinsic stains that add to age-related stains. Our teeth are more likely to get stain easily as we age than before.

We don’t like it when our teeth get stains especially if it keeps us from showing off our smile. However, before you decide to whiten your teeth, it ensures your teeth are healthy.

It’s Not For Everyone

Having our teeth whitened is not for everyone, and I know it’s not what we want to hear when we want a stainless smile. But there are a couple of things we need to acknowledge first about whitening our teeth.

  1. Our teeth are not naturally white; they are a shade of yellow.
  2. Some teeth don’t respond to getting them whitened.
  3. Home remedies may not always work and can cause more damage to the teeth and gums.
  4. Teeth whitening doesn’t work on teeth which have root damage or are false (i.e., caps, implants, etc.).

Each of our teeth is different in their way. If teeth whitening worked for someone you know, it might not be suited for you which is why you want to be careful especially when using home remedies or at home whitening products.

Home remedies, they great for some things but not for others. You want to take precautions in using such methods. The same goes with at home products, sure they can whiten your teeth, but some products are not custom made to our teeth. When we use products or remedies that are abrasive, it can cause damage not only to our teeth but gums and other dental problems we may have that we are unaware of at the moment.

Consult with Your Dentist

Consult with your dentist to ensure your teeth are eligible to undergo such process. We want to urge you to take the steps you need for the safety of your teeth and that they remain healthy. To do so, you want to make a consultation appointment.

During your consultation appointment, your teeth will be thoroughly examined to evaluate the state of your teeth and gums and diagnosis any dental problems. If there are dental problems, you will need treatment before beginning the process of whitening your teeth. Your dentist will be able to let you know if you are eligible to receive treatment and discuss your options.

Options for Whitening Teeth

What are your options for getting the smile you want? There are a couple of options you can discuss with your dentist to see which one best suited for you.

  • Stain Removal Toothpaste – there is toothpaste can help eliminate the superficial stains our teeth have through a light, mild action of scrubbing it off with our brush. These are whitening toothpaste which has been ADA approved and have polishing agents.
  • In-Office Bleaching – it requires you to visit the dentist for this procedure which is also known as chairside bleaching. Yes, your teeth will be bleach and are usually done in one visit. Zoom is an everyday use of bleaching teeth in dental offices.
  • Over-the-Counter Bleaching – bleaching products you can purchase from any store which are usually toothpaste or whitening strips. These products will not have the same concentration of bleach agent as would a procedure at the dental office. As you shop for these products, you want to ensure they have the ADA seal which means it’s safe to use and is effective.   

Discuss with your dentist if your eligible to get your teeth whitened. After all, you want to have both a beautiful and healthy smile. Consult with your dentist today by filling out our appointment form or calling our offices at 801-747-8000.

For more information check out this article from the ADA (American Dental Association).

 

What Are Veneers And Are They For You?

Veneers

Are you looking to fix the aesthetic of your smile? Various dental cosmetic procedures are allowing us to get the smile we want. Veneers are one option to the many aesthetic dental problems we might have. But what are veneers? If you’re thinking about getting veneers, find out what they are and if it’s right for you.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are a thin, custom-made cover to adhere to the tooth giving it a more classical shape and look.

How are veneers any different from a crown? Unlike a crown, which covers the entire tooth, a veneer is meant to cover only the front of the tooth. They are designed to look like your natural teeth and to fix the aesthetics of your teeth and smile.

Veneers can help correct a range of dental problems that are both physical and aesthetic such as,

  • Permanently stained teeth
  • Chipped or worn teeth
  • Gap or uneven spaces between teeth (usually the front teeth)
  • Crooked teeth

They are, again, a cosmetic fix to having the beautiful smile we want to see on ourselves. Since veneers are meant to look like our teeth the most common type to get is a porcelain veneer.

Types of Veneers

Porcelain veneers are not the only option for veneers; composite resin is another option. However, you want to discuss your options with your dentist to see which is right for you and your tooth. Here’s information on both options for veneers.

Porcelain Veneers:

  • They are resilience and strength.
  • A small amount of our tooth’s enamel has to be removed to place the porcelain veneer in the front side of our teeth. (Less tooth removal than a cap or crown.)
  • Custom-made by a dental technician at a dental lab.
  • It is a two-day treatment process since waiting on the lab work.
  • Not reversible process since the small removal of the tooth enamel cannot be reinstated.

Composite Veneers:

  • Are added to the tooth layer by layer which is hardened by light.
  • After they have been applied, it is then polished to give it a natural look.
  • They are typically fabricated on the same day as dental visit so you can get same day treatment.
  • The dentist shapes and sculpts it to look like a natural tooth.
  • It is less invasive, quicker, ad irreversible since there is minimal prep work on teeth.

Getting a Consultation

Veneers may not be a dental treatment for everyone which is why we recommend you make an appointment for a consultation with your dentist. You want to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and that you discuss with your options with your dentist. Ask about the treatment, what to expect during and afterward the procedure, and maintenance for your veneers. To make an appointment with our dentist, you can either fill out our appointment form or call us at (801)-747-8000.  

 

Orthodontic Offers You Don’t Want To Miss Out On

orthodontic offers

Have you heard about our offers for orthodontic treatment? If you haven’t, you don’t want to miss out on these offers. Not only will you be saving money but you’ll be taking steps towards ensuring your further dental complications and maintaining a healthy smile and mouth. Our oral health is as equally as important as the rest of our health which is why we need to take measures to have preventative care.

You don’t want to wait to see a dentist after experiencing some discomfort or pain since it can often indicate a severe problem or require extensive treatment to remedy the dental issue. Visiting the dentist annually for dental check-ups, allows us to maintain our oral health and prevent complex dental treatment. Through dental examinations, our dentist can determine whether we have a dental issue to address immediately or keep an eye on.

For orthodontic treatment, we don’t want to wait to get treatment since there can be further complications in postponing dental treatment. 

Low Ortho Fee for Brace Treatment:  

Is it getting crowded in your mouth or maybe you have an overbite? If you do, then you can benefit from getting your teeth aligned to prevent tooth decay, plaque build-up, tooth loss, and other complications that come from having our teeth going astray. There is no age limit on when you can get braces; anyone can get their smile fixed and ready to shine. Braces are the best form of treatment to correct our bite and teeth, if you have further questions on braces, be sure to check out our FAQ on Braces.

One Low Fee for Wisdom Teeth Removal:

We all have third molars, and sometimes we can be the lucky few who don’t need to get them extracted. However, for those of us who are experiencing pain in our jaw and the back of the mouth, we might need to get our wisdom teeth removed. When our molars are impacted or crowding the adjacent teeth, they can cause bacteria growth, misalignment, and infection. If you do have wisdom teeth coming in, discuss with your dentist the best option for treatment if any. For further information, check out our FAQ for Wisdom Teeth Extraction.

To get our offer, click on the image below.

offers in clinics

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, make an appointment for a consultation to have your teeth examined and to discuss the best treatment options you need, if any. We know the costs for orthodontic treatment is high, but now you can get the best deals on ortho treatment to having a beautiful, healthy smile. To book an appointment, you can fill out our appointment form, and we will get back to you soon.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)?

TMD, temporomandibular joint disorder

Have you experienced jaw lock or hear the occasional popping sound when you open your mouth? Chances are if you have, you may have experienced the severe pain and aches that come from your facial and jaw muscles which are both alarming and severe. It’s a discomforting feeling and one that can be treated rather than cure. So what is causing it?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Also referred to as TMD, is when the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw doesn’t work correctly. The hinge is what allows us to move our jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side; however, when you have TMD, it prevents your muscles and joints from moving causing pain and discomfort.

Causes:

What can cause temporomandibular joint disorder? There are various reasons we can have TMD, and some are associated with other conditions which make it difficult to know the reason for it. Here are some of the causes of TMD.

  • Tooth grinding or clenching which can be related to stress
  • Jaw or head injuries
  • Diseases affecting the muscles and joints

Since there can be different associations with TMD, a comprehensive evaluation is needed. Your dentist can examine your teeth and bones through x-rays to understand how your teeth align together.

Symptoms:

Several signs can indicate you might have TMD, although, it can be difficult to know whether you have TMD. Aside from the pain, you may feel, there other common symptoms for TMJ that include:

  • Popping sound when opening and closing mouth
  • Pain from yawning, chewing, or around the ear
  • Headaches and earaches
  • Jaw lock or gets stuck
  • Tender jaw muscles
  • Difficult opening and closing mouth
  • Misalignment of how mouth fit together

If you are displaying some of these symptoms, discuss it with your dentist so they can take the proper measures of diagnosis.

Treatment:

TMD isn’t cured but managed through selecting and following through with treatment options that reduce symptoms. For some people, the disorder can disappear, come and go, or worsen over time. Your dentist can recommend specific treatment or otherwise send you to a specialist.

The various treatment options first begin with something simple and then moves up to more complex treatments which are usually dependent on what relieves your symptoms. Some of the treatment options you may be presented with are:

  • Eliminating foods that cause the symptoms and opting for more soft foods.
  • Avoid the chewing of gum.
  • Minimizing jaw movements.
  • Practicing relaxation techniques to ease jaw tension.
  • Ease the pain with heat or ice packs.
  • Medicines to reduce pain or inflammation.
  • Exercise jaw muscles.
  • Use night guard at night to prevent clenching and grinding of teeth at night.

These are just a few of the ways you and your dentist can begin to manage your TMD and the discomforts or pain it causes. Now, if there is a problem with how your teeth fit together, then your dentist might recommend fixing it with a specialist.

If you have experienced any symptoms where you find that opening and closing your mouth shut causes you to pain, or there is a clicking sound, make a visit to your dentist to get a comprehensive examination. With the help of your dentist, you both can discuss the options of how to best manage your TMD. After all, we don’t want to be in constant pain and discomfort every time we eat. To make an appointment with your dentist today, fill out the form to get booked.

Best of Explanation Posts on Dental Procedures and Treatment

Ever wondered how certain dental procedures are done or just wanted more information on dental treatment? We know what it’s like to go online and try to research information that will help us understand and prepare us for our dental treatment. There is something comforting about knowing what to expect when treating our dental problem.

Over past months and years, we have written blog articles about dental procedures and treatment and now, we were creating a pitstop post where we have gone over our blog archive and collected our best posts to help you understand more about dental procedures and the treatment options offered to you. Let us begin with the basics of treatment and progress to the more complicated and severe dental procedures.

Gum

Bleeding Gums

 

Bleeding Gums 

 

 

Inflamed Gums

 

Inflamed Gums

 

 

Halitosis:

halitosis, bad breath

 

Halitosis – Chronic Bad Breath

 

 

Cavities: 

Cavities

 

Cavities, Most Common Dental Problem 

 

 

 

Crowns and Caps:

Crowns and Caps

 

What To Know About Crowns and Caps 

 

 

 

Missing Tooth: 

If we’re missing a tooth, we want to make sure we visit the dentist to replace it. There are various options for replacement which are listed below. 

missing teeth

 

 

Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth 

 

 

 

     Dentures: 

dentures

Are Dentures For You? 

 

 

 

 

implant supported dentures

 

 

Implanted Supported Dentures 

 

 

 

     Dental Implants:

Treatment, Dental Implant

 

Dental Implants Right For You?

 

 

 

 

    Dental Bridges:

dental bridges, dental implants

 

 

Dental Bridges v.s Dental Implants 

 

 

 

Root Canal: 

Root Canal

 

Learning About A Root Canal 

 

 

 

 

Wisdom Teeth:

Wisdom Extraction Low Fee

 

 

Q&A Wisdom Teeth Extraction 

 

 

 

One Low Ortho Fee -Wisdom Teeth

 

 

What Are Wisdom Teeth – Video 

 

 

 

wisdom teeth removal - infographic

 

 

Wisdom Teeth Removal – Infographic 

 

 

 

Braces: 

Brace Treatment

 

 

Why We Need Braces 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drill Deep:

If you think your dentist is drilling too much into your tooth, find out why.
Dentist Drill

 

 

Why Dentist Drill Deep 

 

 

 

Before getting treatment done, sit down with your dentist to discuss the procedure, questions you may have, and concerns you have. Remember your dentist is here not only to help treat and care for your oral health, they are also a source of knowledge to help educate us and understand more about what we can do to prevent the development of severe dental issues. If you haven’t visited your dentist yet, don’t wait. Book an appointment to see your dentist today by filling this form out.  

 

Why Is Replacing A Missing Tooth Important?

missing teeth

When you smile is there an open window? Tooth loss as a child marks a turning point in their life as their adult teeth begin to erupt and the soon visits from the tooth fairy. However, for an adult, a tooth loss becomes an occurrence to be concerned about. It’s not usual for adults to lose teeth to make way for new ones; we only get two sets in a lifetime your baby teeth and adult teeth, when teeth are missing it’s ofte

Losing a tooth may not seem that big of a deal for some if it’s missing from the back where no one can see, but it should still be looked at and replaced by a dentist. Why do we lose teeth as an adult? Find out why and the importance of replacing a tooth.

Why Do We Lose Teeth?

Sometimes we lose our teeth due to an accident whether from playing sports or hitting something with your face. (It happens! Have you not seen the funny videos?) When it’s from an accident, there is nothing to worry about it having to be related to a health problem since you know how you lost your tooth. But if your tooth has fallen without an outside force impacting you then, you might want to contact your dentist so they can examine your teeth. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience tooth loss, and they are due to:

  • Gum Disease – also referred to as periodontitis, is the cause of poor oral hygiene and the inflammation and infection of the gums and can affect the tooth and jawbone. When tartar builds up, it begins to infect the gums which later starts to break down the bone and the supporting tissue of the teeth causing the tooth to loosen and eventually fall out. Visiting the dentist will allow your dentist to examine and ensure your teeth are in healthy shape.
  • Osteoporosis – is a bone disease where the body loses bone or makes little bone which results in your bones becoming weak and to break easily from a fall. When you have osteoporosis, your bones lose density or mass and contains an abnormal tissue structure where there are more space and holes present. It’s a disease which is silent because you can’t feel your bones getting weak. As you get older (around 50 years old), you might want to talk to your primary doctor about getting a bone density test done.    
  • Injury – I mentioned this before, an injury due to playing sports can be another contributing factor, although not as severe as the previous two. Getting hit in the mouth is not the only injury to teeth that can cause tooth loss. Are you a grinder or a clincher? Grinding or clenching your teeth wears them down and loosens them resulting in tooth loss and jaw pain. If you have jaw pain but don’t know why, most people don’t realize they clench or grind their teeth, visit the dentist to ensure it’s not caused by dental damage.

Tooth loss is no fun especially when it prevents us from smiling. Even if you have lost a tooth from the back, you don’t want to keep an open window.

Why Should We Replace Them?

Each of our teeth has a place in our mouth. When we lose a tooth or teeth, the rest of our teeth can start shifting and affect the rest of our oral health. If we leave our smile with empty spaces, there can be changes such as,

  • Moving teeth: an area in between our teeth can cause the possibility of a shift in your teeth alignment which results into your bite changing and possible tooth decay.
  • Affects Speech Patterns: Depending on where you’re missing a tooth, it can affect the way you speak. It can change the sound of a letter or pronunciation of a word which can make you conscious of the way you talk and can lower your confidence or self-esteem.  
  • Bone Loss: there are some cases where bone loss can occur around the missing tooth or teeth.
  • Lack of Nutrition: missing a  teeth makes it difficult to break down certain foods that give our body the nutrients it needs such as vegetables, nuts, and meat. We need to feed our body’s the vitamins and minerals it needs without compromising on the food we eat when we don’t have teeth.

You don’t want to leave your smile with open spaces that results in later complications. When you have experienced a tooth loss, you want to replace it as soon as possible.

Replacing Your Missing Tooth (Teeth)

With new advances in treatment, now you don’t have to be toothless since there are various options for your dentist to replace your missing teeth. These are the three most common methods of treatment.

  1. Bridges – they anchor to the surrounding teeth and can be removable or fixed.
  2. Dentures/Partials – if you have lost more of your teeth, dentures might be for you since it allows for you to have a set of teeth.
  3. Implants – the “artificial tooth roots” that bond with the jawbone and become the base to support your crowns (your artificial teeth).

Every patient’s case differs which is why we recommend you make an appointment with us. Our providers will be able to examine your teeth further and identify any dental problems you may be experiencing. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your oral health and your treatment options.  

What Were Wisdom Teeth Used For?

Wisdom teeth used for

When we’ve been told by our dentist our wisdom teeth need to be removed, do you ever find yourself sitting in the dental chair pondering why we have wisdom teeth that need to be taken out? Most of the time when we think of wisdom teeth removal, we imagine the procedure and the soreness that comes afterward, plus the limitation of foods we have to go through for a couple of days. We know it’s not the ideal treatment when you have to give up eating something you can’t let go of, but sometimes it’s necessary.

Wisdom teeth also referred to as our third molars, don’t always erupted properly. They like to wreak havoc in our mouth especially on our second molars which aren’t pleasant to endure when we start to feel some discomfort and pain. Then, we begin to ask ourselves why our wisdom teeth would come out if we have no room from them? That’s a question we can often find ourselves asking when we’re told they need to be removed. Did we once used them before, and if so for what? Let us find out what theory says about our wisdom teeth.

What’s the theory got to say?

According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, our third molars were “helpful to our early ancestors who ate tough, uncooked foods that wore away their teeth.” A theory has it that before our ancestors could cook food with fire, their diet contained more grains and hard food which our molars are needed to grind that resulted in excessive wear. If you think about it, the way our ancestors got their food was through hunting and gathering which they had to take their methods of preserving their leftover food. During a time where we needed more molar energy to break down our food, the extra teeth we got from our wisdom teeth were a great help!  

However, of course, with time, our diet and the way we get our food has changed. Our modern diet has less hard foods and more soft foods we can chew with ease or breakdown with less energy from our molars. Since our food is processed, our food remains “fresh” for longer times than before making it soft to break down with our teeth. Aside from our current diet bringing dental problems, it doesn’t promote the development of our jaw and teeth which is why there is no room for our wisdom teeth when they erupt.

Some people might get lucky and not get their wisdom teeth while others get their wisdom teeth without having to get them removed. But it is rare when it happens, most of the times others have all four wisdom teeth come in at once which can often lead to problems. Over time our jaw structure has adapted to the changes in our current diet and way of gathering food. Having a smaller jaw creates a problem with our wisdom teeth, it can either impact our teeth or block them from erupting. These problems can cause infections due to bacteria growth or discomfort and pain from ramming into another tooth. There is no way of really knowing what complications you can get from wisdom teeth if any.

When do wisdom teeth come in?

Our wisdom teeth begin to erupt around the age of 17 and 21. Visiting the dentist for our annual check-ups ensures our teeth’s health including the development of our wisdom teeth. Through x-rays, your dentist can identify whether you’ve developed your wisdom teeth and if they’re causing dental problems in your mouth. You want to consult with your dentist first to discuss your dental issue, treatment, and costs.

Wisdom teeth are expensive, but at The Center of Dental Professionals, we are offering a deal you can’t refuse. For $897, you can have all your wisdom teeth removed plus IV sedation! Don’t miss out on our ONE LOW ORTHO FEE you can’t get anywhere else. Book an appointment with our offices by filling out our form here.

What theories do you have on why we have third molars we don’t have room for? Let us know in the comments below.

What’s Gingivitis?

What is Gingivitis

The most common dental problems we can often hear in a dental office is dental cavities, root canals, tooth extraction or crowns. It’s not every day we hear the word gingivitis being thrown around, let alone know what it is. So, what is gingivitis and why should we treat it as soon as we are diagnosed with it?

These are some of the topics we will be discussing in this post. It’s important to know we can face other dental problems which we must treat to avoid further complications to our oral health. What do we need to know first?

What is Gum Disease?

You may think gum disease is another topic of its own. You’re right, it is, however, it is related to gingivitis. How? Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues supporting and surround our teeth. It is usually caused by poor oral hygiene that allows plaque buildup to harden and affect the tooth and gums which can cause to soreness, bleeding gums, and tooth loss.

What’s Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums which is referred to as the first stage of gum disease and the easiest to treat. It’s the non-destructive stage of gum disease; however if left untreated it can lead to serious dental problems and an advanced stage of gum disease.

Causes of Gingivitis

When plaque accumulates around and in between the teeth, it can destroy our gums’ tissue, but first, our immune system is the first to respond. Here are some factors that are likely to cause you to develop gingivitis.

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Crooked teeth – makes harder to clean teeth properly
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Age
  • Illness
  • Genetics
  • Medications

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Caused by the plaque buildup, the early signs of symptoms we can experience are:

  • red, swelling gums
  • tender gums
  • bleeding of gums while brushing or flossing
  • bad breath

Although there can be a mild case of gingivitis, regardless of its acute or chronic case, it should still be treated since it can progress to something more serious.

Treatment Methods

When gingivitis is caught early and is treated early, it is possible to reverse the effects of plaque buildup. Treatment is first started at the dentist office and then carried on at home. Once you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, your dental professional will remove the buildup of plaque or tartar that has around your teeth. You might feel discomfort depending on how much plaque you have and the sensitivity of your gums.

Once your dentist has removed all plaque from your teeth, they go over oral hygiene tips and why it’s critical to continue to practice good oral hygiene. Sometimes, dentists may make follow-up appointments to continue to monitor your teeth and ensure they are properly clean.  

If your dentist diagnoses you with other dental problems, part of maintaining a healthy mouth and smile is correcting any other problems that contribute to oral hygiene. You don’t want to leave them untreated and expect to have a healthy mouth.

At home, you want to continue to practice good oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day especially before bedtime, flossing once a day, and maybe even rinsing your mouth with mouthwash. Taking caring our teeth starts at home, and when we lack to care for them, that’s when dental problems begin to arise.

Dentists can’t emphasize enough the importance of practicing good oral hygiene. If you haven’t had your annual dental check-up, don’t wait until you start to see or feel symptoms. Make an appointment with your dentist by filling out the form here to book an appointment.

If you want to know more information about gum disease or gingivitis, we’ve provided you with links.  

Gum Disease

Gingivitis

 

What Is One Of The Most Common Dental Problems Dentist See?

Cavities

Did you know what is one of the most common dental problems dentists see and treat? Cavities. Most commonly seen in children, tooth decay can affect everyone. Our teeth need constant care and need to be thoroughly clean to avoid plaque build-up. Our teeth are a critical part of our day-to-day life; we need our teeth to break down food and speak which is why need to care for them. So,  what is a cavity? Learn more about what it means to have tooth decay, how we get it, and how we can prevent from it happening.

What’s A Cavity?

Cavities, also known as dental caries or tooth decay, is the softening and destruction of the tooth’s enamel. When our tooth is continually being exposed to the acids bacteria breaks down from the sugar or carbohydrates found in our mouth, our tooth begins to develop a hole. A hole which can grow bigger and deeper over time if left untreated.

Cavities Our tooth consists of three layers, the hard, outer layer (the enamel), the middle layer (the dentin), and the center (the pulp). The more layers a cavity effects, the more damage there is to the tooth. Once the dentin layer of the tooth is affected, it’s known as a root cavity where you are likely to experience pain in your tooth when you eat and drink. Dental caries can often lead to infection, loss of a tooth, a root canal, or an abscess.

Cavities start to show symptoms as it progresses. Some of the symptoms you can experience are toothaches (brief or prolonged) and tooth sensitivity or pain when eating or drinking. If you noticed these cavity indicators, it’s time to visit the dentist, don’t wait until for your symptoms to worsen.

What Causes Cavities?

There are many reasons why a cavity can begin to form. Like most dental problems, depending on the severity of the issue, our tooth had to go through different stages.

There are many reasons why a cavity can begin to form. The most common cause of tooth decay is sugary and sticky foods and drinks which like to cling on to our teeth. Our diet is a significant contributor to what happens to our teeth. If we fed off a diet that lacks nutrient and has more sugar and carbohydrates, we are feeding the bacteria by allowing it to turn into acid. The acid that’s produced on our teeth causes our enamel to be vulnerable and exposed to being attacked. When our enamel is being exposed continuously by the acid and in close contact to our tooth, it’s what causes the breakdown and the formation of the hole, cavity.

But more factors play a role in causing tooth decay. Maybe your diet has nothing to do with the fact you have a cavity. So, what other causes are we referring to? Here they are:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene – not brushing your teeth twice a day or for the recommended time (at least 2 minutes) allows for plaque to build-up which attacks your enamel.
  • Dry Mouth – our saliva is a critical part of our mouth, it’s our first line of defense as it washes and breaks down plaque and foods.
  • Bacteria – our mouth is home to bacteria, bacteria that resides on your tongue, gums, and teeth. When the bacteria we have begins to feed off the sugar and carbohydrate substances, it produces constant acids harming our teeth.
  • Medical Problems – whether it’s the medication you take or a medical condition, medical problems can be a cause of our tooth decay. The intake of medication is another reason we have dry mouth due to a side effect of the meds.     

How Are Cavities Treated?

Cavity treatment like all dental treatment is dependent on how early it is caught. The dentist will need to thoroughly examine your teeth to ensure there is no infection and to see the damage of the tooth. For the most part, cavities can be treated with a filling. If there is little decay on the tooth, the dentist will repair it by removing the decay part with a drill. Once the dentist has removed the rot, they will fill your tooth with a filling.

However, if your cavity is large, you might need a crown to replace part of the tooth. The deeper the tooth decay, the more dental treatment is necessary. Once your cavity has reached the pulp of the tooth, you need a root canal done, or if the tooth is severely damaged, the tooth might be extracted and replaced.

Again, it is all dependent on how early your tooth decay is caught. One way of detecting a cavity is visiting your dentist regularly. They can examine your teeth in depth and see any dental problems arising before the visible eye or you can.  

What Are Some Prevention Tips?

Even though a cavity can be repaired, there are methods we can take to prevent cavities from forming in our tooth and taking care of our teeth. What kind of prevention methods can we make? We’ve divided it into two sections to know how.

 

  • Oral Hygiene:
    • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. (Brushing before bedtime is essential.)
    • Brush with a soft bristle and in a light, circular motion to clean the entire tooth and gums.
    • Floss once a day to clean between your teeth and gums where you can’t reach with your toothbrush.
    • Mouthrinse, commonly known as mouthwash, can be used to control or reduce bad breath and bacteria found in the mouth that helps produce plaque.  
    • Visit your dentist annually for regular check-ups (i.e., professional cleanings and examination).  
  • Diet:
    • Eat balanced meals that offer plenty of nutrients provided by fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Limit the amount of snacking.
    • Limit the intake of sweets, carbohydrates, and sugary drinks.

Fun Facts About Tooth Decay:

  • Cavities are more commonly found on children, although, with age, adults are having the same problem.
  • The bacteria that cause tooth decay can be passed down to one person from the next through sharing utensils, food, pacifiers, or saliva.
  • Common places where you can find a cavity is in the grooves of the back teeth where it’s difficult to clean and reach, also in between the teeth.

As Halloween approaches, we will soon be getting a bowl full of treats to snack on. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a sweet, you want to make sure you take care of your teeth as well. If you’re experiencing any toothaches or sensitivity in your tooth, don’t wait around to see if it will pass. Visit your dentist to have your teeth and mouth examined, fill out our appointment form to visit one of our providers.