What are cavities?
Dental cavities are holes in teeth caused by bacteria or certain kinds of foods high in sugar or starch. As bacteria eats away at your tooth, this is known as tooth decay. Cavities are also referred to as caries.
Located in Thornton, CO, Dr. Scott Bruggeman can help your tooth decay prevention efforts. If a cavity is found Dr. Bruggeman will recommend the procedure specific to your case. In may cases a simple filling will prevent further decay and relieve the pain. If the case is more serious Dr. Bruggeman may recommend other procedures or refer you to a specialist in the most sever cases.
How does a cavity form?
There are hundreds of different types of bacteria that are normally present in the mouth. Some bacteria is good and some bad. As bacteria combine with food and saliva it forms a sticky substance called plaque that attaches to your teeth. Foods rich in sugar and starches add to the stickiness of the plaque, which begins to harden just 20 minutes after eating. The longer the plaque remains on your teeth the harder it is to remove the plaque. If plaque remains on your teeth for more than a couple of days it turns into tartar or calculus. The bacteria in the plaque will convert sugar into acid that dissolves the tooth structure causing holes, or cavities. This is how a cavity is formed and can cause a fair amount of pain or sensitivity. The combination of bacteria and sugar is your teeth's enemy and primary cause of cavities. Because of these factors, dental cavities have been described as a “dietobacterial” disease.
The parts of teeth that are most vulnerable to tooth decay are areas where plaque can accumulate most easily. Plaque tends to settle into the pits and pockets on top of your teeth. Plaque also likes to hide between your teeth, and next to the gum line. As plaque builds up on your teeth, the bacteria and acid eventually cause tooth decay. A cavity starts on the outer layer of the tooth know as the enamel. As the cavity gets deeper and deeper it penetrates into the softer inner layer of the tooth known as the dentin. When the cavity reaches dentin you will notice signs and symptoms of the cavity, associated with pain and discomfort.
Who is at risk of tooth decay?
Everyone who eats is at risk of tooth decay. Your saliva helps prevent plaque from attaching to teeth and helps wash away and digest food particles, however, you must also ensure you are brushing and flossing your teeth regularly as this will aid in tooth decay prevention. Genetic factors may affect your risk of tooth decay. You may be at a higher risk of developing tooth decay if you have a low salivary flow or dry mouth which leaves your teeth more vulnerable. Tooth size and shape, thickness of enamel, tooth position, tooth eruption time and sequence, and your bite all may contribute to a higher risk of tooth decay.
Dr. Bruggeman believes in using the latest in technology to provide you comfort and the best dental care possible. The use of electric drills allows your procedure to run more smoothly and quite. Stop by and see the difference new technology makes with dental care.