Cavities form because of tooth decay. Cavities are most commonly found among children, but adults develop them as well. Tooth decay can occur for many reasons, including the formation of plaque build-up, what you eat and drink, how well you take care of your teeth, heredity, and certain medical conditions or treatments like diabetes and chemotherapy.
Plaque plays a big role in tooth decay. It is a sticky film that continually forms over your teeth. Plaque is fueled by the sugar or starch in foods, such as candy, cookies, ice cream, soda, cereal, and even French fries. The sugars mix with bacteria in plaque to form acids that destroy the tooth. Plaque helps to hold the acids in place against your teeth. When the acid comes in contact with your teeth, it works to break down their outer layers, the enamel, and dentin (the dense, bony tissue that makes up the bulk of a tooth under the enamel). Eventually, the decay causes the outer layer of tooth enamel to collapse, resulting in a cavity.
Treatment for a cavity involves removing the cavity and replacing it with a filling. Your dentist will numb your gums surrounding the affected tooth so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Next, a very small drilling instrument will be used to carefully remove the cavity. Once the cavity is removed, your dentist will fill the space with a filling. There are several different types of fillings. The last step will involve your dentist giving you carbon paper to bite on to ensure that the filling isn’t too high. If it is, the high-speed handpiece will be used to file it to its proper place.
Despite cavities being an easy fix, we do understand the dental fears that people have. If you have severe dental anxiety, talk to your dentist about sedation or other methods of calming before you get your cavity filled.
At Dedicated Dental, just like in our name, we are dedicated to taking care of our patients in a warm, caring, and relaxing environment that provides the highest level of dental care available for you and your family.