A toothache is one of the things that never fails to put a dampener on your day. In the case of moderate to severe pain, it is difficult to go about your daily rituals, putting you in a lousy mood and necessitating a visit to the dentist.
Upon arrival, your dentist will give you a checkup and may visually spot some tooth decay or take an x-ray to determine the cause of your toothache. If a cavity is found, and no infection is inside the tooth, then they will recommend dental fillings as a solution to your pain.
Why Do Cavities Form?
Your mouth is home to a massive array of bacteria, which naturally attach themselves to your teeth. You have probably heard your dentist or at least a TV commercial mention “plaque”, and this is what they are referring to. With thorough dental hygiene and a good diet, the bacteria will have little opportunity to feed and multiply. However, when you eat or drink something high in sugar or starch, the bacteria will have lots of food to consume. *** Research has shown that dry mouth, radiation, and chemotherapies all contribute to decay. Please speak to your dentist or hygienist about your individual health issues.
When bacteria feed, they create acid, which attacks the enamel of your teeth. This can become a problem if your oral hygiene and eating habits don’t support the remineralization of enamel and minimize the damage from the bacteria. Eventually, the bacteria will breakdown the enamel and create “holes” or cavities in the tooth. As the cavities get larger and get closer to the nerve/pulp of the tooth, this is when the pain and sensitivity will likely start, and that is when it is worth consulting your dentist.
Will the Pain Go Away?
If you have a cavity and it is not treated, further damage will occur that may result in an infection of the tooth. Teeth do not have the ability to heal like the other structures of our body, due to the low blood circulation. The infection caused by decay can cause teeth to break, create abscesses and may even require the removal of the tooth. A severe infection can also cause problems with the gums, bones, and surrounding teeth, tissues, and blood, so it is well worth getting on top of the problem as soon as possible.
Halting Tooth Decay
Using Fluoridated toothpaste, having routine fluoride treatments at the dental office, and having effective oral hygiene habits (removing 80-85% of plaque) twice a day will result in the enamel having more defense against the acid attack of the plaque, and less frequent opportunities of decay formation. Here at Cody Dental Group, we have many different products to conveniently help you expose your teeth to fluoride. We have Varnishes and Rinses that your hygienist can give you in the office, and prescription level toothpastes for you to take home and use every day.
We are fortunate here in Colorado, most of our water treatment plants manage the fluoride at approximately 1 – 1.5ppm for our treated water. Research has proven that this concentration of fluoride strengthens our teeth and makes the enamel harder. Our water here in Colorado is some of the best in the United States…. so drink our tap water and help our teeth remineralize!
Even if you have no pain, your dentist might spot a cavity or some advanced decay during a routine checkup. Dental fillings are designed to support the existing structure of the tooth and ensure that bacteria do not spread into the gaps created by the decay. There are many different kinds of material used for fillings, including porcelain, gold, silver, and composite resin. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the pros and cons as well as the associated costs of each material.
Over and Done
Dental Fillings are usually done by a general dentist, under local anesthetic, and shouldn’t take long to complete. The dentist will start by removing the decay and then cleaning the area. After this, the filling material will be put into the tooth, sealing the tooth and protecting it. Then you are free to go about your day.