Tooth Decay

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth. Good bacteria are necessary for our oral health. Bad bacteria, on the other hand, cause nothing but problems in our mouths. It is our oral hygiene habits that determine how much bad bacteria stay in our mouths. It is necessary to brush your teeth twice a day, every day, for two minutes. However, as you probably heard from your dentist or dental hygienist, that is usually not enough to keep your gums and teeth their healthiest. Rinsing with mouthwash helps kill bad bacteria. Flossing or using a water pick gets to the bacteria between the teeth that brushing misses. The reason our dental team strongly emphasizes the importance of keeping these bad bacteria in your mouth to a minimum is because they begin to eat away at your teeth the longer they sit on them. They also eat away at bone and negatively affect your gums, causing them to be red, inflamed, bleeding, and sore. When bacteria eat away at your teeth, they form holes in them. Tooth decay, or a cavity in a tooth, can be avoided with good oral hygiene and also routine checkups at the Coral Springs dentist that include fluoride treatments.

If you’ve had a toothache, you have probably felt the pain from a cavity or tooth decay. Sometimes, however, they do not hurt. This does not mean no tooth cavity treatment is needed at this point. It is always better to prevent pain than to wait to come in until your tooth is hurting. Wouldn’t you rather your dentist tell you that you only need a tiny filling as opposed to a crown because your cavity is so large? What determines the extent of a tooth restoration is how far the decay has entered into the tooth. If the cavity has only penetrated the outer surface, or enamel, of the tooth, your dentist may tell you that you do not need a filling yet as long as you are strict with your oral hygiene and receive fluoride treatments regularly. Your tiny cavity will not necessarily go away, but you have the ability to prevent it from getting any worse and needing a filling. If the decay has entered the next layer of inside the tooth, the dentin, a filling is necessary. This can either be a composite filling, a porcelain inlay or onlay for larger cavities, or possibly a crown. Crowns are needed when the cavity has gotten so large that a simple filling will not hold the structure of the tooth.

If you have waited too long in coming to the Coral Springs dentist for a cavity and you are now in a lot of pain, your dentist will mostly like tell you that you not only need a crown, but also a root canal. When the bacteria have eaten away so much of the tooth that it has reached the inner pulp chamber of the tooth where the nerves are located, a filling is not going to solve this problem. The nerve needs to be removed, filled in, and a crown will be placed on top. There are even instances where decay is so severe that the structure of the tooth becomes compromised, and you may bite on it the wrong way, causing the tooth to crack. These situations also require root canals generally. Sometimes, however, if the tooth is cracked too far under the gum, it needs to be extracted.


You probably heard from your dental hygienist how important it is to floss your teeth so you do not get cavities in between them. You may have a small cavity that does not need treatment yet because it’s not that big. You need to understand that there is still a hole in your tooth where food and bacteria can reside. The current cavity may not get worse, but bacteria can start to eat away at the tooth right next to it. If you do not keep this area clean enough and get fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, you will end up with not one cavity, but two.

It is very important to visit your Coral Springs dentist and dental hygienist twice a year to receive an exam and cleaning and to have x-rays taken. The combined efforts of our dental team at Lakeview Dental and your excellent oral hygiene habits at home will help prevent tooth cavities from forming. If you need information about tooth decay treatment, tooth decay causes and symptoms, Please ask Coral Springs dentist!

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