Bacteria in the mouth form plagues on your teeth. These bacteria feed on sugar and produce acid which can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. Early cavities are difficult to detect because they are still in their forming stages. However, a dentist can check your teeth for early signs of cavities by examining them visually, touching them, or taking x-rays. Read on to learn about the symptoms of a cavity and how to treat them.
Dental explorers can cause caries
Dentist in Burlington use dental explorers to check for caries, but it is not clear whether they are causing problems. The reason for this ambiguity is not entirely clear. Some people believe that explorers are time-tested tools for caries detection. The explorer has become a standard tool for dentists and dental insurance companies to examine teeth during a dental exam. However, the explorer has been linked to caries development, and this should be discussed with your dentist.
Initially, dentists used dental explorers as a way to identify cavities in a patient’s teeth. In the early 2000s, some dental professionals questioned this practice, because of the possibility of cavitation. Further, the use of an explorer may interfere with demineralization. If you have a precipitation lesion, it may be possible to reverse it with a little extra care and fluoride application.
Sub-surface enamel is eaten away by decay-causing bacteria
Tooth decay starts with the accumulation of bacteria that forms a biofilm on the surface of the teeth. These bacteria feed on sugars left over from food and produce acid as a waste product. As a result, the tooth’s protective layer begins to crumble. To stop this from happening, you must fight back against plaque buildup and floss daily. A dental hygienist can help you with this process.
Fortunately, teeth are still able to repair themselves with proper oral hygiene. Fluoride in the water and toothpaste helps the enamel repair itself. As the teeth age, they naturally lose minerals. This process can lead to the appearance of white spots on the teeth. In some cases, though, you may be able to reverse the effects of tooth decay and even stop it altogether. However, you must be sure that the treatment you receive will be effective.
X-rays can identify early signs of a cavity
X-rays are commonly used in the dental field, and are an excellent way to identify early signs of a cavity. The contrast between the different areas of a tooth’s surface and its surrounding gum tissue allows a dentist to clearly identify cavities. These images can reveal a tooth’s early symptoms, such as a toothache, or even a hole in the tooth. Other early signs of a cavity include discoloration of the tooth, which may be the result of decay.
The decayed area of a tooth will show up as a dark spot on the X-ray. While decay can be repaired, the dark spots on a tooth’s surface indicate the development of a cavity. X-rays also reveal the stages in the cavity’s formation. Here’s a mockup of an x-ray of a tooth.
Treatment options for a cavity
Getting immediate cavity treatment can help you avoid more complicated and expensive procedures. Cavities are often painful and can be difficult to detect until they’ve progressed to the point where pain or infection is experienced. Luckily, treatment options for cavities are numerous and can be done right away. But, what if you don’t experience any signs of tooth decay? In such cases, you’ll want to see a dentist right away.
While there are several treatment options available, no filling can replace the natural tooth structure. Direct fillings are made from a composite material that’s tooth-colored. Direct fillings are easy to place but don’t last very long. Indirect fillings are made of metals, such as gold or ceramic. However, these options are more expensive and more difficult to place. The difference between the two is their longevity.