Ankeny, IA dentist offers treatments for cavities

Stages Of A Cavity

Dental decay is a very common problem that patients face. Even with proper prevention and regular checkups, our diets and habits can cause bacteria to form cavities on our pearly whites. Although you may not notice a cavity until your next checkup, there are several stages in the formation of cavities. Today’s blog, Dental Impressions of Ankeny, IA, explains the progression of caries and how they can be treated.

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The Progression Of A Cavity

It is a common misconception that sugar is the only cause for caries. In fact, acidity is the real culprit behind this condition. Acids in popular food or drinks such as soda, coffee, fruit, bread, and more can cause your enamel to demineralize. To prevent this from happening, you should make it a habit to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.

If the first stage goes unnoticed, it will progress into enamel decay. Sometimes you can see visual changes to your tooth by a change in color. At this point, the cavity can be filled by your dentist. This can stop the bacteria from continuing to spread.

The next stages, if a cavity is not filled, consist of dentin decay and pulp damage. You may begin to experience sensitivity when chewing, the area may swell, and you may even notice persistently bad breath. If this is left untreated, an abscess can form. This may cause severe discomfort and the infection can spread to other areas if not taken care of.

Preventing And Treating Cavities

One of the best ways to reduce the chances of dental decay is to practice good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush for two minutes, twice a day, followed up by flossing. Make sure that you do your best to reach all surfaces of your pearly whites for a thorough clean.

For little ones, fluoride treatments and sealants may be offered for an extra layer of protection. Fluoride can re-mineralize your enamel, therefore strengthening it against cavity-causing bacteria. Sealants are applied to the molars, where it can be difficult to brush.

If you do have a cavity, it can be treated with a filling. This is the process of removing the decayed part of the tooth and adding composite resin. In the event that you are unable to have a filling done, a root canal can be performed. When a carie reaches the fourth stage of pulp damage, this therapy can remove the damaged pulp. The pulp of the tooth contains nerves and blood vessels, which is why decay in this area of the tooth causes discomfort. While more invasive dental treatments such as this may be nerve-wracking, they can save the need for having an entire tooth removed.

We Can Help Treat Cavities

If you have tooth decay, do not put off a filling or other restorative treatment. Schedule an appointment at Dental Impressions in Ankeny, IA, today by calling (515) 965-0230.