Tooth decay occurs commonly without thorough oral care, as do cavities. As an experienced general dentist, Dr. Shirley Parikh often treats cavities through a variety of procedures. Early intervention of tooth decay is always more effective and less painful, so contact Bristles Family Dentistry in Houston at the first sign of possible cavities, or book an appointment online.
What are cavities?
A cavity is a result of tooth decay, affecting both the outer and inner layers of the tooth. When foods high in carbohydrates remain on your teeth, they eventually lead to cavities.
What causes cavities?
Cavities occur so commonly because they derive from the food you eat. Without careful brushing and flossing, the foods stuck between your teeth turn into acids, which then create plaque. Plaque dissolves the enamel on your teeth, creating holes known as cavities.
You can reduce your risk of cavities by regularly and thoroughly brushing your teeth and avoiding sugary or high-carb foods and drinks.
Who is prone to getting cavities?
In general, no one is safe from getting cavities. Anyone from children to seniors is prone to the bacteria that weaken teeth and create cavities. The best way to minimize the risk of cavities is through proper oral care, including brushing and flossing.
How do I know if I have a cavity?
At earlier stages, cavities may not be detectable. This is why it’s crucial to visit the dentist for regular dental checkups so Dr. Parikh can examine your teeth for any signs of cavities.
As the cavity grows, you may notice signs and symptoms, such as pain or even a small hole or pit in your tooth. If you feel pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sweet foods, contact Dr. Parikh right away so she can treat your cavity as soon as possible.
How are cavities treated?
Treatment will vary depending on the severity of your cavity. The more advanced the decay has become, the more intensive the procedures Dr. Parikh must administer. Essentially, Dr. Parikh drills a hole at the site of the cavity and replaces the decay with a filling, typically made of:
Some cases may require a crown. If the tooth is so badly decayed that not much of it remains after the procedure, Dr. Parikh may need to place a crown over the remaining tooth structure to resume normal functionality.
With severe cases of cavities where the pulp or root of the tooth is dead, you may need a root canal that removes the nerve, blood vessels, and tissue in addition to the decayed tooth. At the end, Dr. Parikh places a crown over the filled tooth.