A cavity is a hole in a tooth caused by the acid secreted by the bacteria in your mouth feeding on food particles. When you get a cavity, you’re in pain. Instead of waiting to schedule an appointment with your Bronx dentist, call right away. Avoiding a hole in your tooth is the main reason you brush and floss regularly. To really keep your teeth clean, visit your Bronx dentist, open on Saturdays, for a professional evaluation and cleaning. The Saturday dentist hours make it easy for you to schedule an appointment.
A tooth’s enamel covers the dentin or interior of the tooth, which is made of a softer material. The nerve in the center of the tooth, therefore, is usually well protected. When the tooth’s enamel develops a hole, this more porous material grows small channels to the interior pulp, where the tooth nerve is located. Symptoms of these holes include:
- Pain in the tooth or surrounding teeth
- Tooth abscess or infection in the surrounding tissue
- Swelling or pus around the tooth
- Damaged or broken teeth
- Chewing problems not associated with uneven bite
It can be scary to realize you have a hole in your tooth. Maybe you felt a twinge of sensitivity when drinking hot or cold liquids. Maybe a favorite sugary treat caused pain. Whenever you feel the effects of a hole in your tooth, schedule an appointment with your dentist, open on Saturday, for a thorough examination and an expert cleaning.
Causes of Tooth Decay and Cavities
Lack of proper cleaning usually causes cavities. Eating certain sugary or starchy foods that cling to the teeth, and frequent snacking without cleaning teeth in between can accelerate the process of tooth decay. Other reasons a hole in your tooth may develop include:
- Lost dental fillings
- Eating disorders
The acid in your mouth from food, especially sugary treats, heartburn and stomach acid slowly eats away at a tooth’s enamel, compromising the tooth’s integrity. Gum disease, especially as you age, causes the plaque to form around your teeth at the edges of your gums. Appropriate measures for cleaning and caring for your gums keep cavities from progressing.
Four Stage of Cavities
Cavity formation occurs in four main stages:
Stage 1. Your mouth is full of bacteria: some helpful and some harmful. When bacteria combine with saliva and food particles, a sticky coating forms. This coating, called plaque, must be consistently removed or decay begins. Small white spots may appear as an early sign of decay.
Stage 2. Acids in the plaque begin to eat away at the tooth enamel. Tiny openings form in the enamel, allowing more acid and bacteria to burrow in and continue the decay and demineralization process.
Stage 3. The tooth enamel weakens and finally breaks down under the acidic attack. A hole appears in the tooth, and the acid then begins to attack the soft, yellow interior of the tooth, called the dentin.
Stage 4. As the hole becomes larger and deeper, the acid eventually breaks through to the sensitive tooth pulp channel where the nerve is located. This is when the cavity becomes painful.
Treatment for Cavities
The sooner you find treatment for your cavity, the less damage to your natural tooth occurs. Sometimes, cavities progress rapidly. Saturday dentist hours are great for busy people and give you fewer excuses. Your Bronx dentist works to prevent any cavities from becoming uncomfortable with several different treatments, such as:
- Fillings. Your dentist (open on Saturday) drills away the decay and fills the hole with composite resin, a silver alloy or gold fill material.
- Crowns. If the cavity progresses and becomes larger, the tooth structure may not support a filling. To protect the remainder of the tooth, after removing the decay, a crown of porcelain, gold or porcelain on metal is placed over the tooth.
- Root canals. If the hole penetrates to the tooth pulp, your dentist has to remove the pulp and the nerve. He fills the hole with a sealant and then places a crown on the tooth to protect it from further decay.
Preventing a Hole in Your Tooth
The best treatment for cavities is to prevent them altogether. Your dentist, open on Sunday too, advises strengthening your teeth with the following:
- A healthy diet, including non-processed foods and no sugary treats or beverages, in order to reduce the amount of acid in your mouth
- Fluoride toothpastes that break down the plaque and help the re-mineralization process
- Daily flossing to remove bacteria and plaque in hard-to-reach areas of your teeth, preventing more substantial buildup
- Visiting your dentist regularly to catch any concerns as early as possible, which preserves as much of your tooth integrity as possible
- Changing your toothbrush every three months, since new bristles remove acid and bacteria better
- Sealants that your dentist administers in the clinic
- Fluoride supplements, especially if your water supply doesn’t contain fluoride
After your cavity has been treated, either with fillings or crowns, your aftercare is the same as with your natural teeth. Good oral hygiene, along with regular dental visits and the above suggestions, protects your natural teeth and dental work. Keeping ahead of any problems keeps you pain free and enjoying your daily life.
Do you have any questions about hole in a tooth treatment options in the Bronx NYC? For more information or to schedule an appointment with the best family dentist of Dentist in the Bronx, please contact our dental clinic in the Bronx for a consultation.