You know what a cavity is, right? But do you know there are different types that carry different risks? They’re all related but the three primary types of cavities all have unique appearances and consequences for your teeth.
A New Albany Implants we might specialize in replacing lost teeth but there’s something else we’d rather do: keep those teeth from being damaged or destroyed in the first place! In order to help you kneep your smile healthy it’s essential that you know your enemy. In this case it’s oral bacteria and tooth decay!
How A Cavity Forms
Your mouth is full of bacteria – that sticky white film you may notice building up in your mouth during the day is nothing but bacteria! A lot of it just lives in your mouth without a problem, but plenty of the strains are dangerous. When you eat foods with sugars in them you give oral bacteria exactly what it loves. It metabolizes sugars into acids which slowly erode your teeth. That’s how cavities begin.
The Three Different Kinds Of Cavities
Whether you want to call them “types” or “stages” of tooth decay there’s one thing that doesn’t change: they’re nasty and can be seriously harmful.
Stage 1: Surface Decay
This is the cavity before it’s really a “cavity” in the traditional sense of the word. There isn’t any depression, hole, or pit in your tooth: just a small, slightly worn spot that may appear a different shade of white or a light brown.
This is what happens with plaque acids erode a tooth down to the lower levels of the enamel. It hasn’t yet broken through into the dentin, or inner layer of your tooth, making it easy to treat and even reverse completely.
When patients come to us with surface decay we’ll give them a thorough fluoride treatment. Fluoride is unique in its ability to remineralize the bones of your teeth, which means it actually bonds to teeth and re-grows lost enamel. With regular care you could end up with not a single trace of a surface cavity!
Stage 2: Pits And Fissures
Once cavities breach the enamel the reach the slightly softer dentin on the inside of your teeth. Cavities inside the dentin are usually deep pits, fissure-like cracks, and even wide openings with just a tiny pin prick of a hole on the surface.
Pits and fissures are dangerous if left untreated. They can go on to destroy an entire tooth through weakening, infection, and decay.
We can generally treat a pit and fissure decay with a filling, We’ll go into the tooth, remove the decayed tissue and replace it with a dental composite or amalgam that protects the tooth permanently.
Stage #3: Decay Of The Tooth Root
Here’s where things get really serious. Chances are, up until now, you didn’t even know you had a cavity. There aren’t any nerves in your teeth until we reach the root, which contains a lot of them along with blood vessels. A cavity that gets this far can seriously hurt.
In order to protect your tooth at this late stage it’s necessary to perform a root canal. Unlike the rumors about them, root canals are remarkable fast, easy to recover from, pain-free, and simple. They’ll also save your decayed tooth, which is always the goal!
Root canals at our New Albany office are always performed under anesthesia and any level of sedation that you desire.
What’s The Best Way To Stop Cavities?
To never let them start! Cheesy answer, we know, but it’s the truth. You can easily fight cavities and end up only having to worry about surface blemishes if you come see us for regular appointments every six months, Cleanings and exams are mandatory for anyone who wants to have a healthy smile for life!
With our New Albany dental team behind you you’ll have a smile you can depend on for life. All it takes is that first phone call to New Albany Implants. Trust us – you and your smile won’t forget it!