A hole in a tooth can lead to a painful cavity. When you don’t practice good daily dental hygiene and see your dentist for professional cleanings on a regular basis, you may begin to develop a tiny hole in a tooth that eventually grows into a cavity. Save your health, time and money by taking care to prevent cavities. Broadway Family Dental located in Brooklyn, NY offers tooth cavity treatment to repair your smile. Decay, indirectly caused by food left between teeth, eats away at your enamel, creating a hole in a tooth. You can’t cure tooth decay, but you can prevent it with regular brushing, flossing and visits to your dentist.
A cavity that’s caused by tooth decay is sometimes referred to as a hole in a tooth. A hole in one of your teeth also can by caused by:
- Losing a previous filling
- A cracked or broken tooth you got from an accident
- Even from grinding your teeth
- Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia
Most of the time, however, it’s a build-up of plaque that leads to first a tiny hole in a tooth and eventually to a larger hole in a tooth that causes you pain. Plaque is from bacteria in your mouth that leaves a thin film on your teeth. It’s full of bacteria that create acid, which eats away at the tough outer layer of your teeth called the enamel.
The Life of a Cavity
The top of your teeth have tiny crevices and pits where plaque and other bacteria can settle. Harder-to-reach areas around your gum line and between teeth are other great hiding places for plaque that then seeps into the enamel and creates a hole in a tooth. When you get these holes, or cavities, your teeth are more susceptible to infection.
Untreated, tooth decay can lead to tooth loss, bone infections and periodontal disease. The best way to prevent even a tiny hole in a tooth is to practice good daily oral hygiene and visit your Brooklyn dentist every six months for a professional cleaning.
How Cavities Lead to a Hole in a Tooth
Your mouth is designed to manage the bacteria that typically fill it. Bacteria are essential to properly break down food into the nutrients that your body can then process. But not all the bacteria get used up, and the remaining bacteria settle in those crevices and cracks. This all creates an environment in which the acidic plaque attacks your teeth.
During the process of breaking down your tooth enamel, a few things happen:
- Your enamel first wears away, forming a tiny hole in a tooth that you can’t even see.
- Acidic plaque turns into tartar, which is a much tougher substance that only your dentist can remove.
- Decay speeds up as more bacteria and plaque build up.
- The first signs of decay usually are white spots.
- Enamel weakening continues and finally it breaks down, causing a much larger hole in a tooth that becomes a painful cavity.
- The inner, softer part of your tooth, called the dentin, is now under attack.
- When tooth pulp is breached, the nerves and blood supply to your tooth react with pain and throbbing.
The Main Causes of Tooth Decay
Even when you practice regular brushing and flossing and see your dentist twice a year, other things can conspire to cause a hole in a tooth to occur:
- Genetics play a role in tooth decay. If your parents were cavity-prone, you may be too.
- A diet high in starch and sugar can promote tooth decay.
- Snacking often leads to more cavities, especially when you don’t clean your teeth after every time you indulge.
- Soda and other drinks are loaded with sugar. When you consume them all day long, they coat your teeth with sugar, which encourages bacteria to grow.
Treating a Hole in a Tooth
The type of treatment you need depends on where the cavity is located, how deep the hole extends and how large it’s grown. The first step is to remove any decay and then your dentist fills the hole with porcelain, gold, silver or composite resin. The most popular fillings are tooth-colored, so they don’t stand out.
You may need to have the root removed, after which your tooth is covered with a crown. Because your family dentist is also a cosmetic dentist, you can count on getting the best options so your health and your appearance are preserved.
Prevent a Tiny Hole in a Tooth
Daily oral health care and regular dental visits are the best preventative steps to take to avoid cavities. But drinking water is another helpful thing you can do. Other steps to prevent cavities include:
- Eating a healthy diet high in leafy greens, fiber and vegetables
- Brushing with fluoride toothpaste recommended by your Brooklyn, NY dentist
- Flossing after every meal, or at least at the end of every day
- Buying a new toothbrush every three months
- Getting your teeth sealed (especially effective for your kids)
- Allowing your dentist to provide you with fluoride treatments
- Using a daily mouthwash that also gives you an extra boost of fluoride
Brooklyn, NY 11221
☎ (718) 455-4400