Unfortunately, getting a cavity is one of the most common dental problems in the US. Almost everyone has at least one filling in their smile, and some have several. Yet for something this common, many people don’t know much about cavities and fillings. For example, some people think cavities are caused by sugar, but that’s not exactly true.
That’s why you need to call our Highland, MI dental office today at 248-329-3552 and make an appointment for a dental exam. Dr. LoCascio is your Highland dentist with the right combination of training and experience to find and treat any cavities in your teeth.
What Leads To Cavities
Why do people get cavities? It’s because everyone has some harmful bacteria living in their mouth. These bacteria survive by eating tiny particles of food (too small to see) that get trapped in your mouth after you eat and drink.
In return, those bacteria produce an acid. When the bacteria are living on the surface of your teeth, that acid erodes holes in the enamel. These holes are cavities, so cavities are really caused by bacteria. This is why brushing and flossing are so important. Both help get rid of the food particles feeding the bacteria behind cavities.
Facts About Cavities & Fillings
The more you know about something, the more control you have over it. Here are a few facts about cavities and fillings that you need to know.
– Sugar and carbs let bacteria thrive, but any food can help them grow.
Sugar has a lot of calories, meaning it’s packed with energy. Carbohydrates are a close second to sugar. That’s why sugar and carb-heavy foods are the worst for your smile. As sugar and carb particles get stuck to your teeth, those bacteria really thrive on them. This increases your risk of cavities.
While those bacteria love sugar and carbs, they can survive on almost anything you can. Even if you ate nothing but protein, they can still multiply and create cavities. That’s why cleaning your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly helps prevent cavities.
– You cannot feel a cavity growing in your enamel.
One thing about enamel is that it has no nerves in it. That’s a good thing. Otherwise, you’d feel discomfort every time you ate something. (Your tooth does have nerves but they’re hidden below the enamel in a part of your tooth called the dental pulp.)
However, that’s also a bad thing. When those bacteria slowly erode cavities in your teeth, you won’t feel it. If a cavity gets large, you might feel some discomfort as pressure can reach the nerves in the dental pulp. But you could have a growing cavity right now and never know it.
– If a cavity gets too big, a filling won’t stay in.
Because you can’t feel cavities getting worse, it’s easy to let them grow very big. When this happens, you cannot repair the damage with a normal dental filling. In order to stay put, a filling needs enough healthy enamel around it to bond with. So when a cavity is too big, the filling will just fall out.
That’s when you can get a dental crown from our Highland dentist. Dr. LoCascio can seal the entire tooth with a lifelike dental crown. This repairs the damage, but it also makes your tooth stronger and more attractive.
– If a cavity gets too deep, you might need a root canal.
As the cavity grows, it can break through your enamel and reach the dental pulp. Again, this is where all the nerves for your teeth can be found. When the cavity reaches here, the bacteria infect your dental pulp. This creates two big problems. First, you get a strong toothache. Second, it begins to turn the enamel brittle and easy to break.
If this happens, you will likely need a root canal to remove the infection. And if this isn’t done soon enough, you might have to get that tooth removed.
Call us TODAY at 248-329-3552 or use our convenient online form to make your next appointment for a dental exam. Because you can have a cavity without knowing it, you need regular exams from our highly qualified Highland dentist. Otherwise, you’re putting your teeth at risk.