Why Teeth Need Fillings And Crowns
Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body, and taking good care of your teeth and gums is essential to maintaining good overall health. Establishing good oral care habits at home and making regular trips to your dental professionals is a great way to eradicate bad breath, reduce inflammation and decay, and stave off gum disease.
Recent studies are now showing that the health of your mouth is in fact intimately connected to your overall state of health. Conversely, many issues present in the body are also evident upon closer examination of the structures in the mouth. When decay is present, that is an indicator that something must be done to correct any further progression.
Cavities: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment A cavity is damage occurring to a tooth through the gradual wearing away of the hardened enamel surface. Decay can cause minimal damage to the outer surface of teeth, and it can cause more severe degeneration when it goes unchecked. Larger cavities have the potential to reach sensitive soft tissues of teeth, called dentin.
The most severe decay makes its way toward the center of the tooth, where the pulp and nerve system are housed. Once it has reached the center of the tooth, a person can experience a lot of pain and sensitivity in and around the affected area. Something must be done to repair the damage and to prevent further degeneration of teeth and gums.
What Causes Cavities? When food particles and other bacterial invaders are allowed to remain in the mouth for too long, these substances can cause a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque is very acidic, and as it sticks to teeth, it wears away the enamel and surrounding tissues. If plaque remains on teeth for too long, a cavity forms.
How Do We Deal With Cavities? Depending on the severity of the decay, several things can be done to repair and prevent further damage. Cavities cannot be allowed to exist in the mouth without a proactive plan to take care of them, as they become open gateways for infection and disease. We must protect our teeth and our health by sealing up damaged tissues and proactively preventing other cavities from forming. We can do this in many ways:
Sealant--Quite often, if your dentist sees a tooth that may be subject to decay in the future, he will apply a sealant to the area. Sealants are placed on teeth which do not yet require fillings, but because of soft enamel, uneven tooth surface, and porous biting and chewing surfaces, it becomes necessary to protect this area.
Filling--A tooth requires a filling if the decay has become large enough to create a hole in the surface enamel. A dentist will clean out the diseased portion of the tooth and apply an adhesive filler to provide strength and added support to the area. Filling material may be a metal compound or something called composite, which is closely matched to tooth color. In general, all types of filling materials are considered safe and are approved by the American Dental Association.
Crowns--When a decayed area becomes so large that not much of it remains, you may need a crown. For a crown, a dentist will drill out the diseased portion of the tooth and fill as much as possible, then finish by fitting a protective covering on top of the tooth. Crowns add structure and strength to teeth that would otherwise crumble under the demands of grinding, chewing and swallowing. Typical crowns may be made of gold, porcelain, or metal fused to porcelain, and they fit securely over a damaged tooth structure to ward off decay and infection.
Root Canal--At times, a portion of your mouth may be damaged irreparably, and a root canal becomes necessary. In a root canal procedure, a dentist goes deep into structures of the mouth, removing nerves, blood vessels, and even bone in an attempt to eradicate all infection. A sealant is then applied to fill the empty cavity, and often it will be necessary to add a crown on top of the work to add structural support to the area.
Proactive Or Reactive? Establishing Good Oral Health Although none of these restorative treatments are necessarily pleasant to undergo, fixing areas of weakness and decay are essential to restoring and maintaining oral health. The best course of action is to establish good oral care habits at home and to visit your dental health professionals on a regular basis to address any concerns proactively. Simple steps that you can take at home include brushing and flossing at least twice daily, using a fluoride rinse to protect enamel, and avoiding sticky, acidic, and sugary foods as much as possible.
Park Street Dental--Your Partner On The Road To Wellness The professionals at Park Street Dental are invested in your total health. They provide expert advice, quality care, and patient service that is second to none. Choosing Park Street Dental professionals is a smart way to achieve total health and wellness. Contact www.parkstreetdentalonline.com for more information and to set up an appointment today.