The holidays were filled with love, family and friends, and of course, a seemingly endless amount of food and drinks. We know it’s the perfect time of the year to pull out all different kind of sweets for desserts. With the holidays now over and back to the usual routine, have you visited your dentist the holidays for a routine checkup?
Some of you might have forgot to brush their teeth at night after all the partying, creating a perfect home for bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria eats up sugar from the food particles in your mouth, they produce acid that attacks the outer layer of the tooth. As the outer layer softens, it becomes easier for the bacteria to penetrate the tooth.
Cavities, or tooth decay, is the destruction of your tooth’s outer layer, enamel. It takes around 5-6 months for the cavity to develop but it can accelerate depending on your eating and brushing habits. That’s why it’s important for you to have scheduled checkups, starting with the beginning of the year.
During your dental visit, your dentist may find cavities in your teeth that should be treated. The treatment option depends on the severity of your cavity. A cavity can be treated in many ways such as:
If the decay is still small and confined to only the outer layer, it might still be reversed using fluoride treatment or a restorative material which includes fluoride, calcium, and phosphates.
If the decay extends to the second layer of the tooth, dentin, drilling into the tooth is needed to remove the infected area and filling it with a tooth-coloured resin material.
However, if the decay has reached the inner layer of the tooth or the pulp, root canal treatment is needed to save the tooth from being removed altogeether. This is necessary to be able to clean the inside of the tooth and prevent further infection.
As you have noticed, the longer you delay dental treatment, the more expensive and extensive the treatment will be. Start the year off right by having a checkup with your dentist and don’t hesitate to contact them if you notice a discoloured spot or feel pain in your teeth.
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