How often should I see the dentist?
Why do I need to get it fixed when it does not hurt?
Why do I need to floss?
Why do my gums bleed when I floss?
What are the parameters for brushing teeth?
How much and how often should I brush my teeth?
What is fluoride?
What is a tooth made of?
What is a cavity?
How does tooth decay form?
Where do the acids that cause tooth decay come from?
These bacteria are living organisms just like we are. When we consume foods and beverages, we create waste products. Bacteria do the same thing. The bacteria that cause tooth decay utilize sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, or cooked starches) as their food source. The waste products created from digesting these sugars are the acids (especially lactic acid) that cause the demineralization of tooth enamel and dentin.
Since the bacteria that live in our mouth eat when we do, as we ingest foods that contain sugars (such as soda, candy, milk, and even fruits and vegetables) these bacteria get a meal too. And within minutes they start producing the acids that cause tooth decay.
When is it referred to as a cavity?
If a restoration is not completed and the decayed portion of tooth structure not removed the process will keep eating up the tooth until getting closer to the nerve causing pain. The earlier we can get to this process the better.
What is a filling (restoration)?
What different types of filling materials are there for cavities?
Other materials such as porcelain and gold can be used to fill in the spaces, which will give a more homogenous strong matrix. Dental amalgam has fallen out of favor due to the mercury content and possible minute exposure to this substance.
Why does my tooth start to hurt?
The goal is to detect the decay before it gets to this point, in doing so will save more of the tooth and ultimately prevent further more in depth treatment such as root canals and crowns. Once a tooth starts to hurt and if the nerve is irreversibly affected by the decay process, then a root canal will be required to keep the tooth. If the decay progresses into the bone or destroys the tooth beyond repair, then often times the tooth will have to be removed and a suitable replacement fabricated to maximize chewing and standard/quality of life.