If you’ve ever had a cavity in your teeth, you’re in good company: 91 percent of Americans have had them, too! Cavities are the most frequent ailment that Americans suffer from, second only to the common cold. Good news, though: as with the common cold, the best cure is prevention. Good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups with Dr. Leonard Hess in Monroe, NC will help your smile look and feel great for your whole life.
When we eat, drink, and even sleep, bacteria builds up on our teeth, and over time bacteria can break down enamel. Once the enamel is broken down, bacteria proceed further into the tooth, exposing the sensitive tissues and nerves underneath.
Tooth enamel protects our teeth from invasion by bacteria, but in hard-to-clean places like the back of the mouth and the crevices between our teeth, bacteria can build up and break down enamel. Once this happens, you may have increased sensitivity to food and drink, or it may hurt to brush your teeth.
Regular tooth brushing is crucial to keeping your teeth healthy, but to keep enamel intact and plaque-free, make sure you’re scheduling regular cleanings in our Monroe, NC dentist office. You should also be sure to avoid lots of sugary carbohydrates and starches, as bacteria feed on these foods. Staying well-hydrated is important too, because a dry mouth can accelerate enamel breakdown.
But what if, after all that prevention, you still wind up with a cavity? Make sure you nip problems in the bud to avoid extensive treatments. Most cavities are treated with fillings. Weak spots or holes in teeth are reinforced with various materials such as porcelain, gold, or a mixture of several different kinds of metals. This stops bacteria from entering the hole, preventing further breakdown of the tooth.
If a cavity is left untreated too long, the bacteria may drill down into very sensitive nerves beneath the gumline, which requires more extensive and sometimes uncomfortable treatment. Make sure you’re keeping your teeth clean and nip any problems in the bud!
Dr. Hess can help you avoid cavities and treat them too. Request a consultation online today or call 704.289.3161 today to keep your smile clean and healthy!