A cavity is a small hole that forms in the outer hard layer of the tooth when it is affected by bacteria. Once a cavity has formed it must be treated and filled by a trained and licensed dentist because the longer it is allowed to remain the larger it will grow. Cavities can cause pain, trouble eating, and cause pieces of the tooth or even the tooth itself to fall out, which can lead to infections and gum damage.
A small cavity may need just a small filling - and if it is not very deep these can sometimes be done without any local freezing at all. The area is cleaned and the edges prepared to bond to the filling. The dentist then fills the hole in the tooth with a filling material - usually white fillings made from resin and glass or other products - in the front teeth and a silver amalgam for back teeth. For a larger cavity or one that is close to the gums or the roots they will apply a local freezing to the gum and cheek in the area then numb the area with a local anesthetic. They then remove the damaged parts with a drill and complete the process by filling it.
A cavity that has reached down to the root may result in a root canal procedure that will remove the root from the tooth and then fill the surface hole with a filling material. These are often covered with a silver crown to protect the weakened tooth from further damage and loss. When a tooth is too damaged to fill, or there are too many holes or missing pieces, it will need to be pulled. The process of pulling a tooth involves numbing the area the same as a filling is, and then the tooth is wiggled back and forth by the dentist until it is loose enough and the roots are weakened or broken so the tooth can be gently pulled out.
Preventing cavities begins at an early age. As soon as teeth are present they must be cared for. Infants and small children require brushing of the gums and small teeth with a toothbrush and as they grow a toothpaste that doesn’t have fluoride. Older children and adults should brush twice a day and floss after each brushing. It is also important to maintain regular dentist visits to catch any problems quickly and to maintain deep cleaning procedures. A dental deep cleaning removes tarter and plaque build-up that regular brushing can’t. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks, and sticky snack foods such as fruit roll ups or fruit snacks, will all help to avoid cavities.
Cavities are a very common occurrence in teeth, but should be avoided when possible and treated quickly when they occur. Treating them early can help to avoid further tooth damage, root canals, and even help to avoid tooth loss.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.