Patients who brush their teeth daily may wonder why they still get cavities. Cavities are small holes or pits in the tooth enamel that form when patients have tooth decay. However, patients who seem to have a good oral hygiene routine can develop cavities. Patients who do not take enough time to care for their smiles or avoid the dentist can be prone to tooth decay. Discover how we can treat and prevent cavities in our Greenwood, IN office.
Plaque and Tartar
Patients can easily miss parts of the mouth that are hard to reach when they brush and floss, especially between teeth or in the back of the mouth. Additionally, patients with crooked or misaligned teeth are more likely to develop tooth decay. Harmful bacteria can accumulate when patients cannot clean their smiles.
Bacteria can form a film in the mouth called plaque which irritates the teeth and gums. Over time, if plaque is left in the mouth, plaque hardens to form tartar or calculus. It is more difficult for patients to remove tartar and calculus than plaque. In addition, patients with gum recession are also more at risk of developing cavities. Receded gums expose the tooth roots, which give bacteria a way to break down the tooth enamel and gum tissue.
Preventing and Treating Cavities in Greenwood, IN
The best way to prevent cavities is regular dental care. Even if patients floss and brush twice daily, they must brush for two minutes each time. We also recommend that patients floss before brushing to remove food debris between teeth. Then, they can easily clean the area between the teeth.
If we find a cavity, we can perform root canal treatment and provide a dental filling. A root canal removes decayed dental pulp within an infected tooth. Cavities are often an indicator that a patient has infected dental pulp. The pulp comprises nerves and blood vessels that keep teeth alive. During root canal treatment, we make a hole in the tooth to access the dental pulp within the tooth chamber. We remove the infected pulp and then clean and disinfect the tooth chamber. Then, we fill the tooth with a composite resin. Known as a white filling, composite fillings seal out harmful bacteria and blend in with the look of the natural smile. White fillings also offer durability like other traditional fillings.
Alternatively, patients with cavities that do not affect the dental pulp need a dental filling. We will simply clean the tooth, ensure the dental pulp is intact, and fill the tooth. We may also add a dental crown to cover and protect the tooth. Many patients with tooth decay have weakened or worn teeth that need extra support. Crowns not only look like natural teeth but also offer durability.
Do you have toothaches and severe tooth sensitivity? Contact Beautiful Smiles today at (317) 886-4512. You can also schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Stevens on our website. Please let Dr. Stevens or his team know if you have questions about cavity treatment.