Has your mouth been aching or causing you discomfort? This may be a sign that you have a cavity. Caused by an excess of sugar-consuming bacteria in your mouth, cavities form by softening the hard layer of enamel and dentin on your teeth. Your saliva will then continue to dissolve these layers, causing a hole to form in the tooth. Unless the hole gets filled by a dentist, it will continue to erode the tooth and potentially cause you significant damage or pain. So, what now? Let’s go through your treatment options to resolve this problem at all the potential stages.
Treatments for Cavities
Depending on how long the cavity has gone untreated, a fluoride treatment may assist in restoring the enamel on your tooth and potentially reverse the effects of the cavity in the early stages. The treatments are performed by dental professionals and may be in liquid, foam, varnish, or gel form.
If the hole in your tooth has progressed beyond the earliest stage, your next best option is a tooth filling. Fillings are treatment for tooth damage that prevent bacteria or plaque from building up inside your cavity, reducing the possibility of serious infections. Depending on the type and severity of your cavity, your dentist will recommend either a porcelain or ceramic, or composite resin filling. Each type shares the same goal of treating the cavity, but differ in composition, durability and cost. After examining your individual case and discussing your options with you, your dentist will begin to remove and clean out the decayed area.
If the cavity in your tooth has extensive decay, you may need a dental crown. Crowns are a custom-fitted covering that replace your tooth’s natural crown and, similarly to fillings, protect the tooth from bacteria building up within the cavity. This treatment involves removing the decayed area and enough of the tooth to ensure a comfortable fit of the crown.
Root Canal Therapy
Once the cavity has been left for an extended period, the decay will reach the pulp of your tooth (the inner material of your tooth) and therefore you’ll need root canal therapy. Root canal treatments repair and save the damaged tooth by removing the diseased tooth pulp. If left untreated, a cavity of severity is likely to cause you considerable pain and discomfort.
When a tooth cavity has been severely neglected, the only option left for your dentist may be to remove the tooth completely. Once your tooth has been removed, we recommend considering a dental implant or dental bridge to replace the missing tooth as leaving a gap can allow your other teeth to move.
Contact Gosford Family Dentist
While cavities are a very common dental condition, they are also easy to prevent by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine and getting six-monthly check-ups and cleans.
However, if you do feel pain or discomfort, our team of professional and experienced dentists can help find the right treatment plan for you. Contact our friendly team at Gosford Family Dentist on (02) 4325 3221 or enquire online.