How to Prevent Cavities in Downingtown
Need a Dentist Near Downingtown, PA to Help with Cavities?
Perhaps you have been looking for a Downingtown general dentistry office to help you better learn how to prevent cavities. Or, maybe you even have cavity symptoms—tooth sensitivity, pain, discomfort—and need to see a dentist as soon as possible. Whether you are looking for cavity prevention, treatment, or would simply like to have a dental checkup, Chester County Family Dentistry can help. Many local residents choose CCFD as their dentist near Downingtown, PA.Get Started
Cavity Symptoms and Dental Health Practices to Avoid Tooth Decay
Cavities are damaged areas in the enamel of your teeth. They are more typically found in children and young adults. However, anyone can be susceptible to them if proper dental care is not practiced. When we talk about “proper dental care,” you may be wondering exactly what that entails. There are actually several steps you can take to help practice best oral hygiene habits and strategies for preventing cavities.
A diet high in processed foods, sweets, and sugary drinks deposits a greater amount of bacteria on your teeth. The presence of bacteria, food particles, and naturally occurring acid combine to form plaque that “sticks” to the tooth. The plaque, if not removed properly, gradually eats away at the tooth’s enamel, triggering the beginning of a cavity.
While a healthy diet will help lessen tooth decay, everyone must routinely care for their teeth—including regular visits with the dentist.
You can help prevent cavities by:
- Avoiding sugary and processed foods
- Brushing at least twice a day
- Flossing at least once a day (twice is best!)
- Drinking lots of water (this helps keep your mouth free of debris and keeps you hydrated, eliminating dry mouth that can lead to bad breath)
- Limiting snacks between meals
- Scheduling bi-annual dental cleanings and exams with your dentist (or as directed by your dentist)
Although some people may not have any symptoms or side effects when a cavity has developed, the most common signs of a cavity include:
- Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, and sweets
- Pain when biting down and/or chewing
- Visible holes or black spots on teeth
Why Are Cavities a Problem?
Normally, the damage of a cavity exists in the outer hard layer of the tooth—the enamel.
But, if left untreated, the damage and decay can travel to the second layer of your tooth—the dentin. In some cases, the infection will also reach the pulp, which is the inner part of the tooth. When this happens, a more serious procedure may be needed, such as a root canal (which we’ll discuss in more detail below).
Untreated cavities also have the potential to lead to more serious gum issues, such as gingivitis.
How Are Cavities Treated?
Sometimes, despite best oral hygiene practices and dental care routines, cavities happen. When they do, it’s important to call your dental office and schedule an appointment—sooner rather than later. The severity of your cavity/cavities will determine the type of treatment recommended.
If the cavity has not reached the tooth pulp and nerve, your dentist will likely perform a tooth filling. If, however, the damage is more extensive and decay has spread beyond the tooth enamel, you may require a root canal or tooth extraction.
Fillings and Crowns
For a filling, your dentist removes the damaged part of the tooth and fills it with another material—such as a composite resin. Crowns are similar to a filling but cover a larger surface area of the tooth, generally consisting of a “cap” or crown over the top of a decayed tooth after the damaged part has been removed.
Root Canals and Extractions
A root canal is performed when the tooth damage has reached a more severe level. During this procedure, your dentist removes the damaged nerve and replaces it with a filling. In more serious cases, the tooth is beyond repair and an extraction will be performed.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a cavity or are concerned that you may have one, we encourage you to consider CCFD as your family dentist. We prioritize patient safety and comfort above all, and provide comprehensive dental services, including cavity prevention and treatment.Book My Appointment 610-431-0600
Schedule an appointment today, or call us any time.