Cavities and Tooth Decay


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Cavities…no one wants them. We all try to prevent cavities as best as possible. It’s always best to receive routine cleanings and checkup appointments from your dentist to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

What else can you do to prevent cavities? What are cavities, anyway? How can the dentist fix your painful cavity? These are all questions we’re going to answer.


? What is a cavity?

A cavity, also called caries, is a hole in the tooth’s structure. It is caused by tooth decay, which occurs when the tooth’s mineral content dissolves.

Have you ever taken a bite of something cold or sweet, felt pain pretty quickly in one area of your mouth, but then it quickly goes away? If so, you may have a cavity. Cavities should be checked out as soon as possible by your dentist. The sooner you take care of it, the less severe the damage and decay will be.


? What causes tooth decay?

The foods we eat on a daily basis react with the naturally-occurring bacteria in our mouth. This process forms acids that can eat away and damage the tooth’s hard tissue. Plaque is actually most responsible for tooth decay. Once decay has a chance to progress, a cavity forms.


? How does Washington Smiles fix a cavity?

For a simple cavity, we treat it with a filling. A dental instrument or a drill will be used in order to remove the decayed tooth tissue. A filling will then replace the tooth structure that has been removed.

A metal amalgam or a tooth-colored composite will be used for the filling. For cavities that are too large for a filling, a dental crown may be the best solution. A crown is sometimes used when the damage is extensive and too much of the tooth has decayed.

If the cavity has been left untreated for a long time, the tooth can become infected and an abscess can form. In this scenario, a root canal procedure may be the best solution.

No matter which route we take to fix a cavity, our goal is to preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible.


How to prevent cavities

  • For children and adults, you should do the following in order to prevent cavities.
  • Brush and floss your teeth 2-4 times per day, especially after you eat.
  • See your dentist once every six months for routine checkups and cleanings.
  • Consider getting dental sealants placed on your teeth, especially the molars. These thin layers of medical-grade plastic are easily applied in a single appointment. Sealants can help protect your teeth from decay for up to a decade, and are great solutions for kids and adults alike.
  • Limit your consumption of sugary foods and beverages. If you must eat them, make sure you brush and floss your teeth soon after consumption.

Cavity and tooth decay treatment at Washington Smiles

If you are suffering from the painful symptoms of cavities or tooth decay, call Washington Smiles today. We can schedule an appointment for you to get evaluated by our trained dentists. We can provide effective treatment to get rid of cavities and other harmful dental problems.