This is a common question, and the answer is that the fact your tooth doesn’t hurt is exactly why you need a filling now.
Why Your Madera Dentist Recommends a Tooth Filling
If your dentist recommends a filling, it’s because they found a small cavity that has not yet reached the inside of your tooth where the nerves are located. The purpose of the filling is to remove the decayed portion of your tooth before it hits your nerve, then place the material in the space.
When we remove the decay, we stop the cavity in its tracks, protect the tooth from further damage, and allow you to chew on it comfortably again.
Prompt Treatment for Cavities Can Save a Tooth
By placing the filling sooner rather than later, our Madera dentist can spare you from the toothache you would get if you postponed treatment. Cavities don’t go away on their own or heal themselves.
Even if you have a toothache and it subsides for a few days, it will come back worse, and at that point, a filling may not be sufficient to fix it.
How and Why Cavities Develop
Cavities are far too prevalent when you consider that they are highly preventable. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that over 90 percent of all US adults have had at least one cavity in their lifetimes.
Some factors can make you more susceptible to getting cavities, including the genetic makeup of your teeth. However, in most cases, the cause is inadequate or improper brushing and flossing.
Because tooth-colored fillings resemble tooth enamel, they look very realistic and natural once we place them in your mouth. But it is always better for your oral health if you don’t develop tooth decay in the first place.
The Role Bacteria and Acid Play in Cavities
Plaque is a sticky, bacteria-filled film that adheres to your teeth and consists mainly of food particles and saliva. When bacteria consume carbohydrates like those found in sugary or starchy foods, they produce acid as a by-product.
Because acid lowers the pH in your mouth, tooth enamel demineralizes, temporarily making it porous and more susceptible to cavities. One reason why dental professionals recommend brushing after meals is to remove the plaque and interrupt this cavity-causing process.
How to Avoid Cavities
Avoiding cavities comes down to three things:
- Brush and floss diligently and conscientiously.
- Avoid a diet loaded with carbohydrates (sugar, bread, pasta).
- Visit your Madera dentist for cleanings and checkups every six months.
When and How to Brush and Floss
Your goal is to brush twice a day—once in the morning and once before bedtime. It’s also a good idea to brush after meals if you can to interrupt the cavity-causing process. If you consume a lot of sugary drinks or carbs during the day, rinsing your mouth with water is also a good idea.
Floss once a day, and be sure to reach all the surfaces of your teeth. Your dental hygienist will be happy to demonstrate the proper technique. If you have dental work, ask about special hygiene products like floss threaders that allow you to get between bridgework to floss thoroughly.
Do You Have a Cavity and Need a Tooth Filled?
If your dentist in Madera has recommended a tooth filling, it’s always best to act sooner rather than later. Call Keledjian Dental to schedule an appointment so we can help you.