Have you ever had a cavity? Do you think you might one day?
Before you say no, you should know that national health experts estimated that 92 percent of American adults will have at least one cavity in their lives.
That means if you made a list of 100 people who you know that only a handful of them will never have a cavity.
Maybe you will be part of that handful on someone else’s list, which would be nice, More than likely, you will be part of the vast majority who will need tooth decay removed at some point or another.
If that time ever comes for you or someone in your family, you can always call Bayou Dental Group to help. Just remember, your solution will be simpler the sooner you make an appointment at our dentist office in Monroe, LA.
Dealing With Decay
The bacteria in your mouth is opportunistic. It multiplies every day, and it will take advantage of a situation to build plaque, the sticky film that forms on your teeth.
That film can serve as a kind of base of operations for the bacteria to start eating away at your tooth.
What you do about it, what should be done about it, will depend on how quickly you notice the cavity and how quickly you act to fix it.
Here are five ways you can deal with a cavity, starting with the simplest option.
◼︎ Prevent It
When Ben Franklin wrote that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, he hit the nail on the head.
The best way to deal with tooth decay is to prevent it from happening. The good news is you already know what to do. It’s just a matter of doing it.
You need to brush your teeth (twice a day, two minutes each time). You need to floss your teeth (every day, once per day). You need to visit the dentist for professional cleanings (twice year, sometimes more if you have a chronic condition).
Being consistent about doing each of those things will greatly reduce the odds that you will develop a cavity.
◼︎ Fill It
OK, maybe you aren’t as consistent about brushing and floss as you should be. Maybe you have been putting off your next dental cleaning because you think you can’t make the time in your schedule right now.
Those are prime opportunities for bacteria to attack one or more of your teeth.
If you notice the cavity developing, hopefully, that will motivate you to call us and make an appointment as soon as you are able.
By removing the decay early, we can prevent any further damage. A tooth-colored filling can restore the shape, function, and appearance of your tooth in a single visit.
◼︎ Crown It
In this situation, you either let the cavity continue for too long or you did not notice the cavity until it was too late to fix it with a filling.
The next step is to fix your tooth with a dental crown. Our crowns are made for porcelain, and since we use CEREC crowns, we are able to make them for you while you wait. At some other dentist offices, you may have to wear a temporary crown for weeks before your permanent crown is ready.
At Bayou Dental Group, we can restore your tooth in a single trip to our office.
◼︎ Root It Out
If this happens, you really should have come to see us sooner.
Tooth decay can turn into something worse if it eats through your enamel and the dentin underneath. You don’t want bacteria to reach the soft connective tissue at the center of your tooth. This tissue, called pulp, can become infected and inflamed.
This can cause pain since the pulp shares space with nerves as well as blood vessels.
More than likely you will begin to feel pain as a result of this infection. It may be a lingering pain. The pain may get worse when you bite or chew with your infected tooth or when you eat or drink something hot or cold.
A root canal treatment is the best way to remove the infection, and we often use a dental crown to seal the tooth as part of this procedure.
◼︎ Pull It
We sincerely hope that you will do something about your tooth decay long before this is necessary. The longer that bacteria is allowed to eat away at your tooth, the weaker your tooth will become.
In some cases, the tooth will be so weak that a root canal will not be enough to save the tooth. This is when it may be necessary to extract your tooth to remove the bacteria and reduce the risk that the decay will spread to other teeth.
As soon as you notice a cavity, please call our dentist in Monroe, LA. The team at Bayou Dental Group would much rather help you with a filling today than a tooth extraction tomorrow.