Getting a cavity filled is a straightforward, quick and inexpensive procedure that replaces the small holes in a tooth after the decayed portion is removed. Cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth, snacking, sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth properly or often enough.
A cavity is usually no cause for concern, especially if you address it early. According to the Mayo Clinic, cavities are among the world’s most common health problems. American dentists complete over 175 million fillings every year! Nearly all Americans have had cavities, and about a quarter of Americans have an untreated cavity right now. And the average adult has 4 fillings, but 10 or more fillings isn’t that uncommon. Filling materials include gold, silver, porcelain and composite resin. Composite resin is the most popular because it’s virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth.
If you don’t clean your teeth soon after eating and drinking, plaque forms quickly and the first stages of decay can begin.
Eating and drinking frequently feeds bacteria and creates a more acidic environment for decay. Three square meals a day gives your mouth and digestion a needed break.
Foods like milk, ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, dried fruit, cake, cookies, hard candy and mints, dry cereal, and chips stick to your teeth more. Avoid those foods, or be sure to rinse or brush after consuming them.
Bottles with milk or juice at bedtime sit on a little one’s teeth overnight.
The back teeth have more grooves, NOOKS and crannies that can collect food particles. As a result, they’re harder to keep clean than your smoother, easy-to-reach front teeth, so give them some extra attention when you brush and floss.
Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities and can even reverse the earliest stages of tooth damage. Because of its benefits for teeth, fluoride is added to many public water supplies. It’s also a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouth rinses. Keep in mind that bottled and filtered water usually does not contain fluoride.
Saliva counters bacteria, acids, and washes away food and plaques. Certain medications, some medical conditions, radiation to your head or neck, or certain chemotherapy drugs can increase your risk of cavities by reducing saliva production. Drinking plenty of water and finding a mouth wash and products designed for dry mouth can increase saliva production.
Over the years, dental fillings can weaken, begin to break down or develop rough edges. This allows plaque to build up more easily and makes it harder to remove. Dental devices can stop fitting well, allowing decay to begin underneath them.
Reflux, heartburn or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause stomach acid move up into your mouth and esophagus, which wears away the enamel of your teeth and makes you more prone to cavities. There’s A CONNECTION between bacterial growth and digestive issues – one creates and worsens the other. Both can improve with better oral care and diet.
Anorexia, bulimia, overeating and other disordered eating can lead to significant tooth erosion and cavities. Overproduction of stomach acids cause bad breath, bacteria overgrowth and dissolve enamel to make you more prone to decay. Eating disorders also can interfere with saliva production.