A dental cavity is the most common and widespread oral disease among adults, with a good proportion having or suffering from it. It begins as a minor issue that needs to be resolved quickly with a dental filling to avoid future complications such as the loss of the tooth.
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A dental cavity, which generally presents itself as a black or brown stain on the tooth, is caused by an uncontrolled proliferation of bacteria on the surface of the tooth. A diet high in sugar provides the bacteria with nutrition, and the by-product is an acid that attacks our enamel (outer layer of our tooth). During a thorough dental examination the dentist will detect the early stages of a cavity. Initially, the cavity is not painful, but as the decay process develops, bacteria will progress towards the inner layer of the tooth (the pulp) and cause the following consequences:
> Sensitivity to hot and/or cold
> Infection of the pulp and/or dental abscess that may require a root canal
> Irreversible damage to the tooth that can lead to its extraction
Despite it being a common condition and easy to treat, it is nevertheless preferable to prevent dental cavities from developing.
> Avoid the consumption of foods and beverages that are sticky or high in sugar
> Maintain good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing your teeth
> Perform routine check-ups with your dentist and/or undertake preventative treatments such as an application of fluoride, or placing sealants on the surfaces of your teeth.
If your dentist diagnoses a dental cavity, they will proceed with a dental filling on the tooth and/or teeth affected by the cavity. The dental fillings are done with a composite material or with white colored porcelain to match the color of your teeth. This treatment can be done with or without local anesthetic. The ultimate goal of treating a dental cavity is to prevent the spreading and proliferation of bacteria.
A cavity will attack your enamel first. Once damaged it is very difficult to reestablish its quality and protective function.
Once a cavity begins to worsen, bacteria will attack the pulp (inner portion of your tooth), causing sensitivity and pain.
Researchers and creators of dental materials have now come up with virtually invisible dental filling materials. The ceramic and composite that is used is white in color, which blends perfectly with the rest of your teeth.
Dental fillings allow decreased sensitivity to hot and cold and allow you to enjoy your meals!