Dental Conditions Cavity
A dental cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by acid eroding, or eating, the tooth’s mineralized structure. This acid is from the natural bacteria in our mouth, metabolizing the sugar that we eat.
Dental cavities (which include all stages of tooth decay) are the most common, chronic disease on the planet. Cavities are also the most preventable disease.
Dental cavities rob us of our beautiful white smiles, lead to bad breath, discomfort and eventually pain.
Our approach at Shore Dental is to prevent and diagnose the disease as early as possible, providing treatment in the least invasive and advanced way possible.
How to Prevent
The #1 cause of tooth decay is acidity! We must eliminate acid formation in the mouth and stop the formation of cavities.
The most common indirect cause of cavities is sugar. Bacteria love simple sugars, which cause them to produce acids that eat away at the enamel and tooth.
Not all bacteria are harmful. Specific species of bacteria only produce acid and create cavities when sugar is present.
Frequent snacking increases the chances of tooth decay. It takes 20 - 30 minutes for the mouth to return to normal pH, or acidity level, after eating.
Improper tooth care at home and a lack of professional hygiene at a dentist’s office will lead to decay.
Drug prescriptions can cause dry mouth and lead to a change in the balance of bacteria and healthy enzymes in the mouth. These negative changes allow plaque to become more “tacky” and food particles become difficult to dissolve. The bacteria residing in our mouth become out of balance either directly or indirectly from almost all prescription drugs that are taken for any length of time, and that imbalance is the opportunity that the disease process behind cavity formation needs to progress.
Cavities are one of the most preventable diseases in the world. With some good habits and checkups, your teeth will stay healthy and happy.
Minimizing sugar intake is the best way to reduce our chances of dental decay. Avoiding simple sugars like high fructose syrup, for example, is good because the sugar is already in it simple form and bacteria have access to it immediately as opposed to complex carbohydrates that the saliva has to actually break down before the bacteria can have a crack it them.
Sticky or chewy sugar sources are bad because they are hard to remove and give bacteria a lot of time to feast, like potato chips (yep, that’s a sugar!)
Increase water intake, especially alkaline water. Alkaline water has a higher Ph than regular drinking water.
It is more difficult than ever to find time to sit and give your body the time and focus on fueling itself. Having unhealthy snacks throughout the day, leads to constant acidic attacks to our teeth, which will result in decay. Instead, if you do snack, we need to do our best to ensure they are healthy. Buy healthy foods when you are not hungry, and when they time comes to snack, they are all that’s available. Having water regularly will help buffering the acidity if present and also give the sensation of fullness to reduce the need to snack as often.
Proper brushing and flossing technique may seem obvious and simple but without the proper technique, it won't have a positive impact on your daily routine. People generally don’t know if they are practicing dental hygiene correctly until they are either told or, worse, they suffer decay and find out the hard way. Electric toothbrushes and Waterpiks are helpful in most and certain cases respectively.
A cleaning at your dentist’s office will reset your mouth to a base line of cleanliness and also have the added benefit of reviewing your general oral care and potentially pint out trouble spots before they become problematic. Removing plaque and calculus will remove much of the bad bacteria in the mouth that would’ve otherwise cause decay, and potentially gum and bone disease.
A lifestyle that is healthy will help immensely to avoid having to be on a drug therapy. Reducing stress, eliminating sugar and inflammation-causing foods, being active, interacting with loved ones, and meditating are only a few of the lifestyle keys that one needs to ensure a life of vitality and free of disease requiring prescription medications.
Our best solution is still prevention. If treatment is deemed necessary, then the most natural, non-invasive, long lasting solution possible should be considered
Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. Not only is there a necessity to minimize sugar intake, but there are also great benefits to increasing alkaline and healthy gut-promoting food to the diet. A balanced diet full of non-processed, organic foods and void of excessive preservatives and sugars will help maintain the oral microbiome.
Fillings are the first option available to repair a tooth that has a cavity. We exclusively use Admira Fusion (from Voco) composite filling material as it is 100% BPA free and has none of the other monomers (BISGMA, UDMA, TEGDMA) found in many other materials.
In cases where the cavity has become so large that the tooth itself is susceptible to further breakage even after a composite filling, then a full ceramic inlay or onlay maybe considered. The most important feature of ceramics is biocompatibility, so that they can help to prevent the body’s natural defence system from breaking them down. They are not toxic to the cellular environment when they are used and extremely strong and resistant to flexion or compression.
In extreme cases of breakdown, a full ceramic crown may be the best option as here we endeavour to cover and protect the entire tooth as the cavity may have compromised too much of the natural tooth structure.
At Shore Dental, both treatments can be done in only one appointment so that the experience is efficient and effective.
In cases where the cavity is too deep, a common side-effect of a filling is sensitivity afterwards, even though there was none beforehand. This is because the nerve inside the tooth may have become irritated due to the depth of the cavity and the subsequent filling material. All of the decay and the bacteria causing it needs to be removed to ensure success. In these cases at Shore Dental, we use ozone to disinfect and sterilize the diseased tissue and hence ensure no bacteria are left in the area that could cause pain or sensitivity and hence we do not have to drill as deep.
Part of prevention is also the process of supporting (not attacking) the healthy bacteria in our mouths. Attacking bacteria in the mouth will allow opportunistic “bad” bacteria to repopulate the mouth and cause further problems. Avoid certain products, such as those with Triclosan (a known carcinogen found in many commercially available products).
Support the delicate balance (homeostasis) in the mouth with Pre-biotics that help nourish the optimal environment in the mouth for healthy, non-cavity causing bacteria. Such products include Revitan toothpaste. Oil-pulling, especially ozonated oils, has a beneficial effects and can furthermore help reduce bad bacteria. Oxygen/ozone is a potent disinfectant and safe to biological tissues when properly administered.