Amalgam Filling Before
Replaced with Composite Restoration
As part of their general dentistry and specialized services, Dr. Forgosh and his team at Green Hills Family & Cosmetic Dentistry find, treat and prevent cavities. Tooth decay has a variety of causes. Dr. Forgosh helps patients pinpoint the reason and determines the best treatment solution.
Cavities occur when the enamel and minerals that protect teeth erode away. While children most commonly get cavities, people of any age can have them. Adults with existing fillings sometimes experience tooth decay around those older restorations. When a tooth decays, the missing mineral doesn’t come back, requiring intervention from a dental professional. This decay can leave the nerves in a tooth exposed to pain and infection.
Symptoms of Cavities
When enamel wears away enough to result in a cavity, the cavity appears as a small hole or pit in the tooth. Cavity symptoms depend on the severity of the decay and include:
- Increased sensitivity to cold and hot foods
- Spontaneous toothaches
- Noticeable holes or pits in the tooth
- Broken teeth
- Abscesses and infections
Cavities form small holes in the hard outer Enamel of teeth. As they reach the softer Dentin, the cavities spread much further and faster. The small holes in enamel are often invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen with magnification or on a dental X-ray.
Cavities are caused by acid. Water has a neutral pH of 7.0, but tooth structure breaks down in an acidic environment with a pH lower than 5.5. There are natural bacteria in everyone’s mouth. These bacteria consume sugar and metabolize it into acids. That is why sugary food causes cavities.
This does not mean that sugar must be avoided at all times. The longer tooth structure is exposed to a pH less than 5.5, the quicker decay develops. That is why sticky, slowly dissolving sugars cause the most problems. Gummy snacks, lollipops, and even raisins are worse for your teeth than chocolate. If you indulge in a sugary snack, simply be sure to raise the pH back up to a neutral pH by brushing your teeth or drinking water. Fluoride is a natural element that can be absorbed by enamel to make it even stronger and more resistant to acidic insult.
A lack of regular oral hygiene leaves food and bacteria behind on the teeth, making them more prone to decay. Plaque adheres to the teeth and creates acid that wears enamel away. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can reduce the chance of cavities caused by poor oral hygiene.
However, in some instances, the cause doesn’t necessarily have to do with diet or a lack of brushing teeth. Conditions like dry mouth and certain medical issues also increase the presence of acid. Since saliva naturally cleans plaque from teeth, a lack of it causes more plaque, which in turn creates more cavities. A health issue like acid reflux also adds more acid to the mouth.
Preventing and Treating Cavities at Green Hills Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Like many other common dental problems, cavities can be prevented and treated by a dental professional. Tooth cavity treatment and prevention services from Green Hills Family & Cosmetic Dentistry include:
- Regular examinations and cleanings: Professional cleanings clear food and bacteria from every part of the mouth, including areas that the patient can’t reach or misses when brushing.
- Teeth fillings: During a filling procedure, Dr. Forgosh removes all decayed tooth structure. Then, he replaces the missing section with a filling made from a tooth colored material called a composite resin restoration that is indistinguishable from a natural tooth.
- Crowns: Sometimes, the dentist must remove a large portion of the tooth to get rid of all the decay. To replace it, they may use a crown or onlay instead of a filling. Crowns, inlays, and onlays, are porcelain restorations that return the tooth to its former shape and contour. Using Cerec optical scanning and CAD/CAM milling, Dr. Forgosh can design, fabricate and deliver crowns in one visit instead of waiting weeks for a lab.
Book an Appointment Today
Ongoing dental care from a trusted professional can help you address cavities as they appear as well as prevent them from happening in the future. Dr. Forgosh will evaluate your teeth to detect any cavities and determine if the cavity needs to be filled. Schedule an appointment online!