If you suspect you have a cavity, please read on, then contact one of our experienced dentists located in Basking Ridge and Morristown, NJ to learn what you should know about the causes and treatments of cavities.
What causes cavities?
Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also known as tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including the following:
- Bacteria in your mouth
- Frequent snacking
- Sipping sugary drinks
- Not cleaning your teeth well
Cavities do not go away on their own. In fact, they slowly expand to the point where they can move into the pulp and pulp chamber of your tooth, causing you pain, which could eventually lead to needing a root canal. Therefore, you should try to get to the dentist as soon as you notice a cavity.
How are cavities treated?
Caries are treated in the following ways:
- Fluoride treatments: If your tooth decay has just started, your dentist might opt for fluoride treatments, which might help restore your tooth’s enamel and can reverse a cavity in its early stages.
- Fillings: Also known as restorations, fillings are the main treatment option when decay has progressed beyond the earliest stages. Fillings are made of various materials, such as tooth-colored composite resins, porcelain or dental amalgam which is a combination of several materials.
- Crowns: For extensive decay or weakened teeth, you may need a crown – a custom-fitted covering that replaces your tooth’s entire natural crown. Your dentist drills away all the decayed area and enough of the rest of your tooth to ensure a good fit. Crowns may be made of gold, high strength porcelain, resin, porcelain fused to metal or other materials.
- Root canals: If the decay reaches the inner material of your tooth, i.e. the pulp, your dentist will remove the diseased tooth pulp, apply medication to the root canal to clear any infection and then replace it with a filling.
- Tooth extraction: The last resort of any dentist, your tooth will be removed if they are so severely decayed that they can’t be restored. Having a tooth pulled can leave a gap that allows your other teeth to shift. You may need to get a bridge or a dental implant to replace the missing tooth.
As you can no doubt see, the solution becomes ever more drastic the further along the decay is. That is why it is crucial you reach out to our team immediately. The solution is simple, so let us handle it before it gets more serious.
Contact The Dental Associates of Basking Ridge
Dental Associates of Basking Ridge is a compassionate, gentle, and professional state-of-the-art dental practice serving Basking Ridge, Morris & Somerset County. Our office is always ready to greet our patients with a smile, take the time to answer any questions, and provide the quality dental services our patients expect. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!