The phrase “dental cavity” is common enough that it often does not usually generate any sense of alarm. If it were referred to as a hole in your tooth that will steadily grow as your tooth structure dies, then you may be a bit more inclined to take note. Cavity formation begins without much fanfare, although a lot of different elements contribute to its existence. When decay makes itself known, however, the discomfort may leave you with no choice but to seek treatment.
Mild to Moderate Tooth Decay
Eroding Tooth Enamel
As you enjoy every bite of your meal and sip of your beverage, there are hundreds of different kinds of bacteria in your mouth feasting on the same sustenance. The difference, however, is that some of these germs convert the sugars and carbs from your meals into lactic acid, which weakens your tooth enamel by sapping essential minerals from your teeth. Once your enamel dissolves enough to allow bacteria access to your tooth’s main structure, decay soon follows. Until then, enamel erosion can often be reversed with improved dental hygiene and enamel-strengthening techniques, such as fluoride treatments.
Directly underneath your tooth enamel is the main part of your tooth, called dentin. As decay sets into the dentin, a small hole begins to form, called a cavity. If left untreated, a cavity will grow, eventually making its way to the center of your tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. If tooth decay is caught before it reaches the center, you may be able to save the tooth with a dental filling procedure. Otherwise, you may require a root canal procedure to clear the infection from deep within the tooth and its roots.
ABOUT YOUR ROCHESTER DENTISTS:
Calcagno Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offer expert services including teeth whitening, Six Month Smiles, Invisalign, root canals, and pediatric dentistry. To schedule a consultation, please call (507) 218-8936. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer welcome and serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and the surrounding communities.