Cavities Q&A

Renae and Dr. Sharma answer the most commonly asked questions about cavities from our patients.

Tooth Decay/ Cavity

Today we’re going to talk about the most commonly asked questions about cavities from our patients.

Is there a difference between the term decay and cavity?

They both are the same describing damage done to a tooth’s structure. Decay is when the bacteria in the mouth attacks the teeth and forms a blackish discoloration to the tooth. When a hole is formed it’s a cavity which are also called caries.

If the cavity doesn’t hurt why do we have to get it fixed?

A cavity has different levels in dental terms different severities are called classes. It can be seen as a small dark shadow on the outer surface of the tooth which is not painful and that’s the first layer. Once it goes into the second layer of the tooth it still may not be painful but if it still goes untreated it can go into the nerve which becomes painful, it becomes an emergency situation and you’ll likely need a root canal. If a cavity is very small we’ll ask you to keep a watch on it and do some home remedies to keep it small.

Can it be cured by itself? Once a cavity is formed it can’t be cured completely but it can be stopped from going any further flossing daily, sometimes the minerals in your own salivary flow can help to prevent cavities. Using fluoride, getting in office treatments like silver diamine (ask your dentist about that). Regular x-rays catch cavities early so that you can treat them and they don’t get bigger. Once a cavity is formed and has damaged the tooth it needs to be repaired by getting some fillings done.

How long can you go without treatment?

Every person is different depending on bacteria in the mouth, diet intake, home care. Once the cavity has reached the inner layer of the tooth called the dentin it starts to spread very rapidly.

I brush twice a day, and floss everyday why do I still get cavities?

It all depends on the amount of bacteria in your mouth and your diet regular snacking/ sipping increases the chance of getting cavities there are medical issues that can cause cavities; like medication induced dry mouth or conditions that cause dry mouth some people are just born with a good naturally protective saliva.

Can it effect my health?

Yes, most people are surprised to learn that teeth and gums are one of the most important parts to take care of to keep your overall health. The mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body there are many connections to dental disease and systemic disease such as diabetes, heart problems, and even pregnancy complications.

Are cavities contagious?

Yes, it can spread from tooth to tooth and from parents to babies.

How can I stop it from getting worse?

Proper oral hygiene and timely restoration (seeing your dentist regularly)

These were some questions that patients asked us. If you do have more questions please don’t hesitate to ask us. You can visit our facebook page or our website Thank You!

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