Mar 18, 2018

Since childhood, you’ve been warned about the dangers of cavities (dental caries), but you may not have been made aware of just how detrimental they can be. Your dentist in Venice understands that what may appear to be a simple cavity can create a chain reaction of events if not treated in time. Therefore, he’s weighing in with ways to prevent and treat them when if discovered.

The lasting effects of dental caries

A recent study has come out showing how cavities can eventually lead to malnutrition. The series of events that lead to tooth loss starts with any consumption of food or beverages other than water. Bacteria rush to any leftover particles and feed on them. Allowed to fester long enough, several different types of bacteria will form into a sticky substance called plaque, that clings to the teeth and attempts to work its way beneath the gum line.

One of the great dangers of plaque is that it releases acids that initiate a destructive process in your oral cavity, resulting in dental caries. These are holes that are left in the enamel (the hard, outer layer of the tooth).

If a cavity is not treated, the decay will continue to the roots and beyond. Once the roots are dissolved, the tooth will eventually fall out.

How does a missing tooth affect your diet?

As mentioned above, a recent study conducted using a test group of adults 25 and older yielded some interesting data. The subjects had varied dental conditions, from those who had most of their teeth and no decay – to those with few teeth and varying amounts of decay.

One data set revealed that the people with fewer remaining teeth had a 13 percent higher prevalence of malnutrition than the groups with more teeth. Researchers also found a correlation between groups with untreated decay and dietary deficiencies, as they are 11 percent more likely to lack the necessary nutrients in their diets.

This can be avoided, though, by getting a cavity filled before it spreads.

The process for filling a cavity

The procedure for filling a cavity is very simple and includes the following:

  • The first step is to apply a local anesthesia to the area where the work will be done.
  • Your general dentist in Venice will next drill down to the infected area in your tooth.
  • He’ll then remove any decayed material and shape the vacated area to prepare it for the filling.
  • Next, a thin layer of acid gel will be applied to prepare the tooth for a resin filling.
  • The resin filling will then be added and hardened with a special light.
  • Finally, the tooth will be polished and fully restored.

How to prevent dental caries

There are two simple ways to prevent cavities: excellent oral hygiene and preventive dental visits. The former involves brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, at a minimum, to remove harmful bacteria. Your semi-annual appointments with your dentist will provide you with a thorough cleaning and examination to make sure that no tooth decay is present.

If there’s any found, though, your dentist will take care of it well before it can cause tooth loss. So to get the ball rolling for excellent oral health, reach out to your local professional today!

About the Author

A graduate of the Emory University School of Dentistry, Dr. R. Scott Thompson has been practicing dentistry for over 25 years. Since day one, his focus has been to deliver the most comprehensive and ethical care possible, always placing the patient’s oral health goals first. Dr. Thompson practices at Tarpon Shores Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.