Fillings are a treatment for cavities, which are caused by tooth decay. They are common, and usually develop as a result of plaque build-up, poor dietary habits (eating sugary / starchy / acidic foods), through the use of fluoride, due to poor hygiene (not brushing / flossing enough), hereditary considerations, and certain medical conditions, medications, and medical treatments, such as diabetes, dry mouth, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Plaque plays the most major role in tooth decay. It’s a thin film that attaches to your teeth from sugar or starch in foods, such as candy, desserts, soda / cola / pop, cereal, and greasy foods, like hamburgers and french fries. Sugars mix with bacteria and produce acids that eat away at your teeth, deteriorating them through the enamel of your teeth to the dentin and sometimes into the core of the tooth. The plaque then holds the acid against your teeth, slowly torturing them. 🙁 Poor teeth. Once the plaque has been on your teeth too long it hardens into tartar, which then begets more plaque. It’s a pretty ugly battle! Luckily, we can fight back!
Treatment for cavities involves first the removal and replacement of damaged tooth material. Your dentist will numb your teeth and gums surrounding the affected tooth so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure, and will then use a very small drilling instrument to carefully remove the cavity. Once removed, your dentist will fill the vacated space with a filling. There are several different types of fillings and your doctor will help you decide which filling is most appropriate for your needs.
Dental treatment ends the pain and sensitivity associated with cavities. If left untreated, cavities can grow larger and lead to serious dental conditions, including tooth loss.
You can prevent tooth decay and cavities with good eating habits and oral care. Limit the sugary and starchy foods, brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily to remove plaque. Make sure that your drinking water contains fluoride if at all possible. Finally, make and attend regular dental appointments for professional cleaning and examinations.
If you have any questions about fillings, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment to check up on your oral health, please call us at (207) 947 – 0717 or Request an Appointment Online to meet with one of our dental professionals today!