What to Know About Cavities

cavity treatment virginia beach vaYou just can’t argue how important our teeth are. They help us eat the food that nourishes our bodies and helps us grow strong and stay healthy. They’re also an essential part of our smiles which play a big part in making a good first impression when we meet new people. Human beings will grow two sets of teeth in their lives: their baby teeth and their adult teeth. Once your adult teeth have grown in, usually by twelve or thirteen years of age, it’s crucial to care for them as you won’t be getting anymore naturally. The most common threat to a healthy and long life for your teeth are cavities.

What Is A Cavity?

When spots of tooth decay weaken and break open the enamel of a tooth, exposing the sensitive soft tissues and nerves within, this is called a cavity. Cavities expose your tooth to bacteria that can cause infections and create sensitivity to temperature and touch. They can even make it difficult to chew properly. This limits your dietary options which may prevent you from getting all the nutrients you need. Cavities are the most frequently diagnosed ailment that humans suffer, second only to the common cold. But what causes this threat to our smiles? What can we do to repair them and what preventative steps can we take so we don’t have to fix them?  Dr. Cappy Sinclair and his associates, Dr. Reichley and Dr. Conboy, of Coastal Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry in Virginia Beach, VA have the facts about cavities.

How Do Cavities Form?

Our mouths are a home to millions of live bacteria, most of which is relatively harmless on its own. These bacteria congregate in places that are hard for us to clean such as in between teeth and right at the gum line and feed on the plaque that is formed. When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates such as sugars (like in donuts and candy) or starches (like in potato chips), the bacteria living in our mouths break these components down, creating digestive acids that bind to the plaque already on our teeth and eat away at their enamel.

How Are Cavities Treated?

Cavities are usually repaired by your dentist using dental fillings. In this process the holes or weakened areas in tooth enamel are reinforced or “filled” with one of a number of various strong substances. Fillings halt the process of decay by denying any further bacteria and acids from attacking the weakened part of the tooth enamel. Fillings can be made of composite resin, amalgamated metals, gold, silver or glass ionomer. Your Coastal Dentistry dentist will consult with you to decide which substance would be best for your teeth and budget

Preventing Cavities

While cavities can be treated, it is easier to prevent them than to repair them. Brushing your teeth after meals or at least twice daily with a fluoride-infused toothpaste is recommended to remove the plaque that may have formed. Dentists also recommend cutting down on carbohydrates which promote the growth of bacteria and keeping yourself properly hydrated to wash away bacteria and their digestive acids. Daily flossing helps remove the plaque and prevent the formation of cavities in those hard to reach spaces between your teeth and at your gum line.

The most vital part of prevention is regular check-ups and cleanings at your dentist’s office. Only a trained dental hygienist can remove plaque from some areas. For those patients in the Virginia Beach, VA area, call (757) 453-7657 for an appointment at our Laskin Road office, call (757) 216-9914 for an appointment at our Lynnhaven office or schedule a consultation online today if you think you may be suffering from cavities or would just like a cleaning to help prevent them.