Have you ever regularly driven on a street with a significant pothole? If you have, you'll understand. What may have begun as a crack in the pavement, over time, becomes a gap that widens into a hole. Every time a car drives through it, the hole gets bigger. Eventually, it develops into a tire-popping problem that won't go away by itself; it has to be filled.
Cavities in your teeth work precisely the same way. They start small, a little pit in your tooth that will grow and grow if left to its own devices. A hassle that becomes an inconvenience that continues to build into an issue. All cavities are progressive, and your dentist in Winston-Salem, NC, has the treatments that eliminate your cavities while they are small.
Get Acquainted with Your Tooth
To understand why allowing a cavity to progress is so bad, you should understand the anatomy of your tooth. A tooth is built in layers. We refer to the outer layer as the enamel. It consists of the hardest substance in the human body and acts as a protective shell for the soft layer below, called dentin. Beneath the dentin is your inner tooth, also known as the pulp, which contains soft tissue, blood vessels, and your tooth's nerve.
Even though your tooth's enamel is hard as steel, it's not entirely smooth. Minor depressions attract accumulations of food debris which provide a home for bacteria. As a by-product of living, bacteria produce acid that collects against your tooth enamel and begins to eat it away.
Given enough time and insufficient cleaning, bacteria will eventually breach your tooth enamel, drilling down into the dentin. If you allow a cavity to progress beyond this level, it will result in your tooth's pulp, where infection may run wild. At this point, your tooth may be lost entirely. Therefore, it is better to treat your cavity before it turns into the dental version of Godzilla.
Dental Cavities Are Preventable
While the notion that a dental cavity can grow into a monster is frightening, the good news is that cavities are preventable. Following a few guidelines will set up a line of defense against cavities:
- Floss and brush twice a day, removing bacteria, acids, and food debris.
- Rinse your mouth after brushing to wash away the junk you've just removed brushing. Also, consider an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce bacteria levels further.
- Eat a well-balanced diet with reduced sugary foods, and if snacking between regular brushing, chew sugar-free gum to wash away debris.
- Use fluoride-enriched toothpaste and mouth rinse.
- Visit us for regular dental checkups, which include cleanings to remove plaque from your teeth and gums, along with an exam to identify cavities in their early stages.
Dental Care for Cavities in Elk Grove Village, IL
Don't wait to treat a dental cavity because one guarantee is that it will get bigger. Instead, give the team at Benton and Nelson DDS a call, and we can get your cavities filled right away.