Do you have a cavity? Even though a small spot of dental decay may not seem like a big deal, failure to treat a cavity could put you at risk for a serious infection. Whether you know that you have a cavity or just think you do, take a look at everything you need to know about dental caries and dentist office treatments.
What Is A Cavity?
Also known as dental caries or dental decay, cavities are holes in or damage to your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth make acids. When you eat or drink sugary or starchy foods, you feed the bacteria. The acids they make are byproducts of this process. Over time, these acids wear away the protective enamel cover and cause decay.
Do Cavities Hurt?
Some cavities are painful. But this doesn't mean that every pain in your mouth is a symptom of decay. Some people don't experience any symptoms with a cavity, while others may have discomfort or sensitivity—especially when they eat or drink hot, cold, or sugary foods and beverages.
Do You Need To Treat A Cavity?
More than 25 percent of adults ages 20 to 44 have untreated dental caries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Likewise, just over 25 percent of 45 to 64 year-olds have this issue. The CDC's statistics also show that 20.2 percent of adults 65 and over have untreated cavities.
What do these numbers show? They illustrate the lack of dental care in America. This doesn't mean that dental care isn't available. Instead, it shows that one-fourth of American adults don't seek treatment for dental decay. Failure to visit the dentist for a cavity filling can lead to a deeper infection or tooth loss.
How Will A Dentist Treat A Cavity?
Providers in general dentistry practices can treat a cavity by removing the decayed area (drilling) and filling the hole. The dentist's cavity filling treatment is a minor procedure that is usually done with local anesthetic.
A severe cavity or deep cavity may require treatment from a cosmetic dentist. You may need a root canal or a crown. The crown will fit on top of the natural tooth, replacing the missing decayed part or covering the root canal site.
Can You Prevent A Cavity?
At-home care and regular dentist services can reduce the risks of cavity development. Cavity sealants can also help to reduce the development of decay. Sealants are painted onto the tooth and protect them from acid erosion.
For more information, contact a company such as Dentologie.