Keeping your teeth healthy requires daily habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. Combining these habits with regular trips to your dentist will help you prevent the most common threat to your oral health: cavities. Even people with great oral hygiene can still develop cavities, making it even more important to understand what they are, how they form, and how to prevent them.
Dr. Jacob McLauchlin offers comprehensive family dentistry in Nixa, MO and is dedicated to helping you and your family keep your smiles healthy for life. Learn more about how to prevent cavities and how they are treated if they develop.
What Is A Cavity?
Teeth are made of soft tissues and nerves surrounded by a hard outer layer called enamel. When enamel is weakened by oral bacteria, small holes called cavities are formed. This exposes the tissues inside the teeth to bacteria and may make you sensitive to temperature and pressure, in addition to putting you at higher risk of tooth decay and tooth loss. Untreated cavities may even result in needing a tooth extraction.
How Do Cavities Form?
Oral bacteria live in the mouth and most of it is relatively harmless on its own. Bacteria tend to concentrate in areas that are more difficult for us to clean, such as between teeth and at the gum line.
These bacteria feed off of the foods we eat, especially food higher in starch or sugar, and form plaque. This process creates acids which erode the tooth enamel, eventually forming cavities.
How Are Cavities Treated?
Dentists treat cavities with fillings. In this treatment, your dentist reinforces the tooth enamel with a composite resin. Most fillings today are hardened with a UV light and match the color of your teeth so they don’t stand out. By sealing the cavity, bacteria can no longer infiltrate the tooth and the teeth are protected.
Modern Cavity Treatment in Nixa, MO
Cavities pose a silent threat to the health of your smile, making prevention and prompt treatment incredibly important. Schedule your appointment online or call 417.202.0932 to make sure you’re taking the right steps to protect your teeth and your health.