If you’ve been to the dentist before, you’ve no doubt heard of cavities. Perhaps you had one (or several) filled in the past. But many patients don’t know exactly what a cavity is. In this article, we are going to explain the ins and outs of perhaps the most common dental condition people experience – the cavity.
In short, a cavity is tooth decay that causes the destruction of the enamel (the outer layer of your tooth). Cavities are often caused by consuming sugary food and drinks. Over time the acidic nature of these types of food and drinks eats away at the enamel of your teeth. When the enamel is broken down enough, a small hole will form in the tooth. Patients with cavities will often experience pain (though not always).
Treating a Cavity
Treating cavities begins, first and foremost with a diagnosis. Your dentist will be able to tell if you have a cavity with a routine physical examination of your teeth. Treatment involves filling the cavity with a composite resin after the decay has been removed. These types of fillings have a more natural look and they match the tooth.
There are several things you can do to prevent cavities. Here are a few:
- Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups
- Brush and floss your teeth twice a day
- Limit your intake of sugary beverages and foods
Sealants can also help prevent cavities. Sealants provide a thin plastic coating that adheres to the deeper groves of back teeth making them less likely to get decay. Also using prescription fluoride toothpaste may help protect those more susceptible to cavities.
Farmington Dental Office
Dr. Time Brooks and the team at Smiles for Life Dental have been effectively treating patients with cavities for many years. Our team will work with you to make sure you feel comfortable through every step of your treatment. Contact us today at one of our Minnesota dental offices to make your appointment. Our primary clinics are located in Bloomington and Farmington, but we treat patients throughout the state of Minnesota!