18 Aug How do cavities form?
Most patients dread learning that they have a cavity during their semiannual visit to the dentist, but the fact is that a large number of patients will eventually hear that news.
The mouth is home to bacteria that cause tooth decay and, eventually, cavities by producing acids that break down the teeth’s enamel. The bacteria survive on sugars that are present in the mouth, so a diet heavy in sweet treats can promote tooth decay, especially when the person is not committed to a regular oral hygiene routine.
Some people face a genetic predisposition to tooth decay, and those patients must be extra vigilant in brushing, flossing and scheduling regular dental exams.
Cavity prevention is just one reason why regular dentist appointments are so important. Professional cleanings can help to clear decay-promoting bacteria from the mouth, and examinations can catch cavities and fill them before they become more problematic.
Cavities can form on any tooth surface above the gumline, even between the teeth. That’s why x-rays are so valuable to dentists. Those images can help identify cavities in hidden tooth surfaces.
Many people believe that only children are at risk for cavities, but adults can develop cavities, too. Fortunately, you can take steps to decrease your chances of tooth decay. Limit your intake of sweets and try to avoid snacking between meals, as even healthy foods like fruits contain the sugar that oral bacteria feast on.
If you get a cavity, it’s important to have it filled as soon as possible. If cavities are allowed to progress, they can ultimately lead to nerve damage and tooth loss. Nonetheless, people are sometimes reluctant to get cavities filled for financial reasons. Fillings often aren’t fully covered by dental insurance.
If you need any dental treatment, including cavity fillings, you may not have to pay the entire fee at once. Contact our office at (972) 458-2464 to learn about dental financing options for services in Dallas. Financing plans can give patients access to treatments such as ZOOM! Teeth Whitening, veneers, dental implants, Invisalign orthodontics and sedation dentistry, in addition to fillings.