Cavities are too common. Almost everyone has one or two fillings due to tooth decay. But for how common cavities can be, many people don’t know enough about them. That can lead to problems like infections or even dental extractions.

Call our Panama City, FL dental office today at 850-588-0185 and make your next appointment. Dental cleanings can help keep teeth healthy, while dental exams from. Dr. Patel can spot any problems while they’re easier to correct.

Where Cavities Come From

Believe it or not, sugar doesn’t cause cavities. At least, it doesn’t directly cause them. Instead, cavities are caused by harmful bacteria that everyone has in their mouths. These feed on tiny particles of food and drink that get trapped in your mouth. Sugar is packed with energy, so they go thrive on it.

These bacteria produce an acid that erodes holes in your teeth. That’s where cavities come from. Although sugar is a big reason, bacteria can survive on anything you eat. That’s why brushing and flossing is so important; it helps remove the food particles that feed harmful bacteria.

Best Ways To Fight Cavities

When it comes to keep your teeth free from tooth decay, here are the three best ways:

  • Visit Panama City Smiles every six months: Regular dental cleanings can get your teeth clean in a way you cannot get at home. Dental exams also find problems while they’re small and more easily fixed.
  • Avoid sugary and carb-heavy foods and drinks when possible: Sugar allows those harmful bacteria to thrive, but carbs are also packed with energy and can do the same.
  • Brush and floss every day: Brush in the morning and evening, then floss each night. This will help get rid of what feeds those harmful bacteria in the first place.

What You Should Know About Cavities

Your cavity will keep growing without you knowing it.

Since cavities are caused by harmful bacteria, they keep growing until a dentist like Dr. Patel has a chance to treat it. Your enamel has no nerve endings. That’s a good thing, because you’d hurt yourself with every bite otherwise. However, that does make cavities more problematic.

Because you cannot feel your enamel, you can’t tell when a cavity is getting worse. That means cavities can keep growing and growing without you ever knowing there’s a problem. That’s why regular dental exams at our Panama City, FL dental office is so important. By catching them early on, you can prevent getting major cavities.

A cavity that gets too deep will require a root canal.

Inside your tooth is the dental pulp. This is where the blood vessels and nerves for your tooth can be found. Normally, your enamel protects the dental pulp. But when a cavity gets too deep, it can break through to the pulp and allow those bacteria to infect it.

This infection is not just very painful. It also starves your tooth and makes the enamel grow brittle. The only way to help with deep cavities is by using a root canal to remove the infection. Otherwise, you could be facing significant pain until the tooth finally breaks.

A cavity that gets too wide will require a dental crown.

Cavities that keep growing can also get very wide. As they erode more and more enamel, it will get to the point where a regular dental filling won’t work anymore. Fillings need healthy enamel to bond with. Without that, the filling tends to fall out. When a cavity has grown too wide, fillings won’t stay put.

That’s when Dr. Patel can use a dental crown instead. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps for your teeth. They cover the entire visible part of a tooth. This not only seals up the cavity so it won’t grow anymore, it also holds the tooth together firmly so it won’t break apart.

Call us TODAY at 850-588-0185 or use our convenient online form to schedule your next dental cleaning and dental exam. By doing both with a highly trained dentist like Dr. Patel, you can help ensure your teeth don’t need root canals, dental crowns, or other dental restoration. Instead, you’ll just have healthy teeth.