While cavities may seem harmless and something common that most people experience, they can be more severe and damaging than you think. Fortunately, cavities are usually completely treatable with natural-looking fillings at your dentist’s office.
What’s So Bad About Cavities?
You’ve probably heard your whole life from your dentist that you have to watch for cavities and keep plaque at bay by brushing and flossing every day. But why exactly are cavities bad? Cavities are permanently damaged areas in your teeth’ hard surfaces that develop into tiny openings or holes.
Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, usually happen because of a combination of factors, such as bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning your teeth well. If you frequently get cavities, you’re not alone.
Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems, and they’re especially common in children, teenagers, and older adults. However, anyone can get cavities, including infants.
While cavities are not particularly life-threatening and they are easy to treat, they can lead to severe problems if left untreated, as they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. This can lead to a severe toothache, infection, and even tooth loss.
Regular dental cleanings and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay. People are often entirely unaware that they have a cavity forming, so it’s essential to have regular dental checkups and cleanings, even when your mouth feels fine. However, if you experience a toothache or mouth pain, see your dentist as soon as possible.
Cavity Symptoms and Causes
If you are experiencing a cavity’s signs and symptoms, know that they vary depending on their extent and location. When a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms at all, but as your teeth decay more, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Toothache, spontaneous pain, or pain that occurs without any apparent cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
- Pain when you bite down
As for more specific causes of cavities, certain foods and drinks can cling to your teeth for a long time, such as milk, ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, dried fruit, cake, cookies, hard candy and mints, dry cereal, and chips. These are more likely to cause decay than foods easily washed away by saliva, so make sure to brush more thoroughly on days when you eat these foods.
Frequent snacking or sipping on sugary drinks and foods can also give your mouth bacteria more fuel to produce acids that attack your teeth and wear them down. Sipping soda or other acidic drinks throughout the day helps create a continual acid bath over your teeth.
Tooth-Colored Cavity Filling in Miami
While the standard procedure for treating a cavity is a simple tooth filling, many people hold off treating it because of the unsightly metallic-colored cavity fillings that dentists traditionally give. However, Dr. de Cardenas and his team in Miami use only the latest and greatest in cosmetic dentistry technology.
Tooth-colored cavity fillings are fillings that replicate the natural look of teeth by recreating the tooth’s color in which it is set. Tooth-colored fillings are a mixture of tooth-colored plastic and glass, hence the name “composite filling.”
This process of filling in a tooth, also known as “white fillings” involves the utilization of dental fillings that restore the natural appearance of teeth’ structure. The procedure, however, is not purely about the look of the teeth.
In addition to restoring teeth with fractured or decayed, tooth-colored cavity fillings, they are additionally utilized to cosmetically change the size, shape, or color of the teeth.
The most apparent advantage of tooth-colored dental fillings is that they blend seamlessly with a tooth’s natural structure, creating a uniform look between the composite filling and the tooth. When the cavity filling is implemented, they cannot be distinguished from the tooth’s base structure.
Modern tooth-colored fillings not only closely match the natural tooth color and appearance, but they also bond to the actual structure of the tooth chemically and require no slotting, grooving, pins, or additional augmentation to retain the composite filling to the existing tooth.
Composite fillings also harden in seconds, compared to the days required by several of the more traditional utilizations of tooth filling treatments. Dr. de Cardenas can blend shades to match the color of natural teeth almost precisely.
Since the composites bond to the existing teeth, they can support the filled tooth structure and insulate it from damage that may be caused by temperature changes or breakage.
If you haven’t gotten one already, you’ll likely need a cavity filling at some point in your life. Get treated by an experienced dentist who will make your smile look and feel great. Please schedule an appointment with our Miami dentist, Dr. de Cardenas.