Cavities, or tooth decay, are holes that form in your teeth. They start small, and slowly become bigger if you leave them untreated.
The onset of many cavities does not cause pain. Because of this, it can be difficult to know that there is a problem. Regular dental checkups can detect cavities early.
You can try three different options to treat cavities - prevention, restoration, and remineralization.
Preventive dentistry has been given better focus recently. This helped in decreasing the cases of premature tooth loss.
There is no way to remove the bacteria in the mouth. However, limiting the intake of starches and sugars in your diet is an easy way to prevent cavities. Having a healthy diet can also prevent cavities in the baby teeth of toddlers and children. The same goes when their adult teeth start to grow.
Sugary juices and soft drinks are harmful to your teeth. Substitute sucralose for sucrose as bacteria cannot digest it. You can also use xylitol as a sugar substitute as it can kill bacteria. After meals, you can chew xylitol gum to lessen the prevalence of cavities.
When you brush, you can remove plaque from the outside of your teeth. Use dental floss to remove it from between your teeth. Mouthwash can also help because it reduces the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
A dentist may apply plastic sealants in the pits and fissures of children's teeth to prevent cavities.
Dentin, bone, and minerals make up the tooth enamel. Some of these minerals include phosphate, calcium, and fluoride. Remineralization is an organic process that helps repair the enamel before cavities form.
It is also possible to reverse shallow cavities. This can be done by treating the tooth with these minerals. You can apply fluoride to your teeth by using fluoride toothpastes and supplements. You can also drink fluoridated water.
Your dentist or dental hygienist can apply fluoride varnish to the surface of your teeth. This is a form of fluoride therapy. Take note that high levels of fluoride can be toxic.
Dentists can restore a small cavity by using a filling made of silver amalgam or composite. They can cover large tooth decay with a crown. Crowns are usually made of zirconium, porcelain, or gold.
You might need a root canal when the cavity has reached the center of your tooth. Cavity can infect a large part of the tooth's surface. When this happens, tooth extraction is sometimes needed. You can have dental implants or bridges to restore the parts where teeth have been extracted.
Dentists can restore baby teeth through filling or a stainless steel crown. They can also do extraction pulpotomy.
To sum up, cavities can be prevented and treated. You can make changes in your dental hygiene and diet to lessen the risk of having cavities.
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