DENTAL CAVITY TREATMENT
Serving Maple Ridge and Surrounding Areas
Effective Cavity Treatment in Maple Ridge | Restore Your Smile with Westgate Dental Centre
A dental cavity is a small hole that develops in a tooth when its hard outer shell, called enamel, gets damaged. Although a cavity can initially form without any noticeable symptoms, over time, it can cause discomfort. In extreme cases, it can require a dental procedure known as a root canal to address the issue.
Cavities are a common dental problem. It’s estimated that about 96% of adults in Canada have history of cavities. The good news is that cavities are largely preventable through maintaining proper oral hygiene and having regular dental check-ups.
Discovering your cavity could be unexpected, especially if you believe you maintain good oral hygiene practices. Nevertheless, even when your dentist in Maple Ridge informs you of this condition, there are methods to address a cavity and prevent the development of new ones.
Importance of Dental Cavity Treatment
The treatment of dental cavities holds paramount importance for a variety of reasons:
Preventing Tooth Loss
If left untreated, cavities can cause severe tooth decay, which can eventually result in tooth loss. Treating cavities in their early stages can help preserve your natural teeth.
Cavities cause toothaches and discomfort. Treating them alleviates this pain and discomfort, allowing you to eat and speak without hindrance.
Untreated cavities can lead to dental infections, which can become more complicated and painful. Dental cavity treatment helps prevent these infections from spreading.
Preserving Oral Health
Maintaining good dental health is significant for your overall well-being. Dental cavity treatment is a part of that, as it helps prevent more serious dental issues.
Causes of Dental Cavities
Tooth cavities result from plaque, a sticky substance that adheres to the surface of teeth. Plaque is composed of:
- Food particles
Bacteria naturally inhabit everyone’s oral cavity. After consuming sugary foods or beverages, the bacteria in your mouth convert sugar into acid. Plaque formation begins shortly after the ingestion of sugary substances. This underscores the importance of regular brushing.
Plaque adheres to the tooth’s surface, and the acid within plaque gradually erodes the protective enamel covering your teeth. Enamel serves as a sturdy shield that guards against tooth decay. As your tooth enamel weakens, the risk of decay increases.
Cavities can affect anyone, but certain individuals face a higher risk. Contributing factors to this risk include:
- Consuming an excessive amount of sugary or acidic foods and drinks.
- Maintaining a poor oral hygiene routine, such as neglecting daily brushing and flossing.
- Insufficient intake of fluoride.
- Suffering from dry mouth which reduces the natural protective effects of saliva.
- Struggling with common eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
- Dealing with acid reflux disease can result in stomach acid wearing down tooth enamel.
Cavities tend to develop more frequently in the posterior teeth. These teeth possess crevices and openings that can trap food particles, making them more susceptible to cavities. Additionally, the back teeth can be more challenging to access during brushing and flossing routines.
Signs and Symptoms of Cavities
Tooth decay affecting the outer enamel layer doesn’t induce pain or manifest any symptoms. These are more likely to appear as the decay progresses beyond the enamel and penetrates the dentin and pulp.
Symptoms of cavities encompass:
- Unpleasant breath or a foul taste in your mouth.
- Gums that bleed or other indications of gum disease.
- Swelling of the face.
- Toothache or discomfort in the oral cavity.
- Elevated tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages.
Treatment Procedures for Dental Cavities
When you visit our clinic for dental cavity treatment, our experienced dentists at Westgate Dental Centre will follow a well-defined process to address the issue efficiently. Below is an overview of the treatment procedures:
Examination and Diagnosis
We will carefully examine your teeth to identify the location and severity of the cavities. X-ray imaging can be used to assess the damage’s extent and detect cavities between the teeth.
We will numb the affected area with a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort.
Removal of Decay
Using specialized dental tools, the decayed part of the tooth will then be removed. This process creates a clean, healthy surface for the restoration.
After decay removal, the cavity will be filled with a suitable dental material, such as amalgam, composite resin, or ceramic. These fillings restore the tooth’s structure and prevent further decay.
The dental cavity treatment process follows a simple and efficient sequence of steps. Contact our clinic to schedule a dental examination and cavity treatment appointment.
- During your first dental appointment, our dentist will conduct a thorough examination, possibly including X-rays, to assess the extent of the infected tooth.
- If the dentist determines that cavity treatment is necessary for the affected tooth, they will administer local anesthesia to ensure a pain-free procedure.
- The dentist will use dental tools to eradicate the decayed portion of the sensitive teeth.
- You will receive instructions on aftercare and maintaining oral hygiene to promote healing and prevent further cavities
Aftercare and Maintaining Oral Hygiene
Proper aftercare and maintaining good oral hygiene are necessary for the success of your dental cavity treatment. Below are some key points to keep in mind:
Brush your teeth and floss appropriately to not develop cavities.
Don’t eat too much sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Opt for a well-maintained diet that supports your oral health to prevent tooth decay and tooth abscess.
Schedule regular dental check-ups to see the condition of your treated tooth and catch any new cavities early.
Avoid Chewing on Hard Objects
Refrain from using your treated tooth to bite hard objects or open packages, which can damage the filling.
Some sensitivity is normal after cavity treatment. If it persists or worsens, contact your dentist.
Follow your dentist’s recommendations for any necessary follow-up appointments or additional treatments.
Start Your Treatment Today
Dental cavity treatment in Maple Ridge is a service that can help you maintain good oral health, prevent tooth loss, and alleviate pain and discomfort. Our clinic in Maple Ridge is dedicated to providing efficient and effective cavity treatment, ensuring your oral health is in the best hands.
If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment at Westgate Dental Centre for dental treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to support your journey to a cavity-free and healthy smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, cavities can cause sensitive teeth. A cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by decay, which can damage the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth. If the decay reaches the dentin, it can expose the nerves in the teeth, leading to sensitivity. This sensitivity can cause discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and drinks. If left untreated, cavities can cause further damage to the tooth and increase the risk of infection.
Yes, receding gums can cause cavities. When the gums recede, the tooth roots become exposed, which are more vulnerable to decay than the enamel on the tooth crown. This exposure can lead to decay in the tooth’s root surface, which can cause cavities. Receding gums can be caused by various factors, such as gum disease, brushing too hard, or aging. Maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting a dentist regularly can help prevent gum recession and cavities.
Yes, a tooth abscess can be caused by a cavity. An untreated cavity can progress deeper into the tooth, eventually reaching the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. If the pulp becomes infected, it can lead to a painful abscess, a collection of pus in the surrounding tissue. Symptoms of a tooth abscess include severe pain, swelling, fever, and a bad taste in the mouth. Treatment for a tooth abscess may involve antibiotics, a root canal procedure, or in severe cases, tooth extraction.
Fissure decay is a type of decay that occurs in the grooves and pits of the teeth, often in the back molars. These areas can be difficult to clean with brushing and flossing alone, making them more susceptible to decay. Fissure decay can progress quickly, leading to cavities and other dental problems if left untreated. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help identify and treat fissure decay before it progresses.
Fissure decay can be treated with dental fillings. The dentist will clean out the decayed area and fill it with a dental filling material to restore the tooth’s structure and prevent further damage. In some cases, a sealant may be applied to the tooth’s surface to prevent fissure decay from occurring in the first place. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly to prevent and treat fissure decay.
The treatment for cavities depends on the severity of the decay. Dental fillings may be used for early-stage cavities to restore the tooth’s structure and prevent further damage. If the decay has reached the pulp, a root canal procedure may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and save the tooth. In severe cases where the tooth cannot be saved, tooth extraction may be necessary. Your dentist will recommend the best course of action based on the extent of the decay and your needs.
Crowns or Caps
• Used for extensive decay or weakened teeth.
• Covers and protects the remaining tooth structure.
Root Canal Therapy
• Needed when decay reaches the tooth’s pulp.
• Infected pulp is removed, and the space is sealed.
• Used if a tooth is severely decayed and needs extraction.
• Replaces the entire tooth, including its root.
• Can reverse early decay in some cases.
• Removes the decayed tooth entirely.
• Might require replacement with an implant or bridge.
Yes, children and teenagers are more prone to cavities for several reasons:
- Inadequate Brushing and Flossing
- High Sugar Diets
- Irregular Dental Check-ups
- Inadequate Fluoride
- Tooth Anatomy
- Bottle Feeding at Bedtime
- Inadequate Saliva Flow
Cavities can exhibit various symptoms, including toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, visible holes or pits in the teeth, pain when biting or chewing, and bad breath.
Cavities themselves don’t directly spread from one tooth to another. Here’s how it works:
- Bacterial Growth: Cavities are mainly caused by Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, which feed on residual sugars and starches on teeth.
- Acid Production: After consuming these sugars and starches, bacteria produce acids as waste products.
- Enamel Demineralization: The acids produced by the bacteria demineralize the tooth enamel, initiating cavities.
- Transmission of Bacteria: Bacteria can easily be transferred through:
- Sharing utensils, food, or drinks.
- Kissing or close contact.
- A caregiver tasting a child’s food and then feeding the same food to the child.
- New Locations for Bacterial Growth: If transferred bacteria find a favourable spot on another tooth, such as trapped food or plaque, they can initiate decay, possibly causing a new cavity.
- Adjacent Teeth: When a tooth with a significant cavity is in close contact with a neighbouring tooth, the adjacent tooth becomes more susceptible to decay due to the shared bacteria and proximity.
To prevent the spread of cavity-causing bacteria and further tooth decay:
- Maintain good oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing.
- Limit sugary and starchy foods and beverages.
- Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
- Be cautious about sharing food, drinks, or utensils with young children.
While maintaining good oral hygiene and a balanced diet is the most effective way to prevent cavities, some natural remedies may complement your oral care routine. These include oil pulling with coconut oil, xylitol gum or mints, and herbal toothpaste.
Crowns or Caps
- Used for extensive decay or weakened teeth. Covers and protects the remaining tooth structure.
Root Canal Therapy
- Needed when decay reaches the tooth’s pulp. Infected pulp is removed, and the space is sealed.
- Used if a tooth is severely decayed and needs extraction. Replaces the entire tooth, including its root.
- Can reverse early decay in some cases.
- Removes the decayed tooth entirely. Could require replacement with an implant or bridge.
A dental filling can last anywhere from a few years to over a decade. However, other treatments like crowns can last significantly longer. Tooth pain, receding gums, and fissure decay are common issues that could necessitate further treatment if they develop or persist.
During a cavity treatment, dental instruments are used to remove decayed tissue, and the cavity is then filled or covered to prevent further decay. To enhance the longevity of the treatment, a fluoride treatment could be utilized to strengthen the enamel and deter further decay. Root decay is a more severe condition that can require more extensive treatment and more frequent follow-up appointments.
Regular check-ups with your dentist in Maple Ridge are necessary to monitor the treated areas and to identify any potential new cavities or other dental issues early on.
Maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home, including brushing, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash, to prolong the effectiveness of the treatments received.